“Not Sustainable, Not Acceptable”: CEO Bob Iger Gives Up on Disney+

in Disney, Movies & TV

Bob Iger with a serious expression standing beside the iconic disney logo with a blue gradient background.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney CEO Bob Iger is about as fed up with Disney+ as any subscriber could be. Specifically, the legendary executive is just plain frustrated about the billions of dollars the Mouse has sunk into the streaming service without any sign of it becoming profitable.

Bob Iger standing by an archway with a view of a fairytale castle in the background.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Fresh off his victory over Nelson Peltz of Trian Fund Management and Blackwells Capital, both of whom were attempting to seize seats on the Disney board of directors, Bob Iger is speaking out with uncharacteristic directness. Among other things, the CEO is dismissing Disney fans who are angry about the company’s supposed “woke agenda,” openly ignoring the world’s richest and most social-media-addicted South African businessman, and cutting Marvel Studios and Star Wars productions left and right.

Related: “Egotistical” Bob Iger Needs To Move On from Disney, “No One’s Irreplaceable.”

It is that last part that seems to have soured Bob Iger on Disney+ as we currently know it. Although the CEO seems fixated on the streaming wars as the inevitable and only future for Disney, he also seems pretty furious that it does not make the company any money and has no indication of doing so in the near future. According to a report in Forbes, the Walt Disney Company has already sunk a staggering $11 billion into its proprietary streaming platform without a return on investment. At least $500 million of that went to just three MCU series: Moon Knight, Secret Invasion, and Loki Season 2.

Tom Hiddleston's Loki hearing the Multiverse
Credit: Marvel Studios

Bob Iger has already announced plans to re-focus Disney on theatrical releases rather than Disney+ and has canceled a number of projects in development to ensure that they focus on “quality” over quantity, reportedly to the tune of some $4.5 billion in halted movies and TV series.

In a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, Bob Iger openly admitted that Disney+ has failed as a profitable venture and competitor to Netflix. He told David Faber, “We ended up losing a lot of money on that, more so than we expected initially. Part of that was because we were chasing sub[scriber] growth and not as focused as we needed to be on the bottom line.”

The disney+ logo on a dark blue background.
Credit: Disney+

Related: Bob Iger’s Disney Confirms ‘Snow White’ Future After Scrapping Movie’s Release

To translate that, Disney+ has been a colossal money trap for the Mouse, and its attempts to boost its customer base with reduced prices and ad-supported subscriptions have not been able to offset its financial losses. Iger continued, saying, “I came back, and the losses were around $4 billion a year. It was clear that that was not sustainable and not acceptable, and the goal was first, let’s reduce those losses.”

While he did not come right out and say so, it is fairly clear that Bob Iger was implying that, under the leadership of former CEO Bob Chapek, Disney had misstepped when it came to streaming media. It appears that Iger’s plan is still to go all-in on streaming and to develop an all-in-one app that combines Disney’s vast catalog of IP with the R-rated fare of Hulu and the sports content of ESPN.

Streaming service synergy: hulu, disney+, and espn+ logos intertwined with colorful dynamic lines against a dark blue background.
Credit: Disney

It may cost billions more, but Bob Iger is not letting Disney+ go without a fight.

Do you think streaming media is the future of Disney? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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