Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Disney’s Iger: New Streaming Site to Launch in the Next Year

Disney CEO Bob Iger said today at D9 to expect a new content site within a year.

This “uber network” for the Walt Disney Company will be a home “for people to consume our content directly,” Iger said.

The site will have gaming and streaming video content, and will be monetized by a subscription service, advertising, pay-per-view, and even micropayments, according to Iger. (To be sure, he didn’t say that all this would be live within 12 months, but rather “elements of the relaunch.”)

“We have a unique opportunity as Disney because it really is the only true global entertainment brand,” he said.

Iger said of sites like Netflix and Hulu, “The more distributors the merrier–it keeps them all honest.”

As a co-owner of Hulu, he declined to comment directly on the company, delicately praising CEO Jason Kilar. “He did a great job,” Iger told Kara Swisher. “Did?” she questioned. “Is doing,” Iger corrected.

Of Netflix specifically, Iger said, “I’m not in the camp that believes Netflix is going to own the world. I don’t think that’s possible in today’s world.”

Though Steve Jobs is Disney’s largest shareholder, Iger played down Disney’s loyalty to Apple. “We treat the relationship at an arm’s length. We’ve not said yes to everything that Apple’s offered and vice versa.”

New devices rather than distributors are perhaps the most promising change to distribution, Iger said.

“I actually believe that the tablet is going to revolutionize the media business,” he told Swisher, adding that smartphones are a significant part of that movement as well.

On gaming, Iger admitted Disney had historically put too much focus on consoles, and that some of its Playdom games were not that great. He said that after five months of retooling, the new “Gardens of Time” on Facebook is much better, and he personally is addicted to it.

Expect Disney to release more social games with both derivative IP and original IP, Iger said. The company also anticipates more mobile and social networking projects, drawing in part from its acquisitions of Tapulous and Togetherville.

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This is no longer a battle of devices, it is a war of ecosystems.

— Nokia CEO Stephen Elop on the mobile market