It wasn’t the possibility of superhero team-ups, it wasn’t sport, it wasn’t owning cable networks – according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the single biggest reason Disney forked out tens of billions to purchase 21st Century Fox? Streaming.
In a new interview with CNBC, which was done after the unveiling of the Disney+ streaming service, Iger spoke about the purchase which he says would not have happened if Disney hadn’t decided to get into the direct-to-consumer streaming business. There’s also the added bonus of owning the dominant share of the Hulu pie, giving the company another pipeline for its product:
“We would not have done that transaction had we not decided to go in this [streaming] direction because – if we hadn’t, we would have been looking at that business and through a traditional lens: ‘Oh, we’re buying TV channels. We’re buying more movie-making capability, et cetera’.
But by the time the acquisition opportunity came up, and we knew we were going in this space, we evaluated what we were buying through this new lens of: ‘Wow, what could National Geographic mean to us?’. What could it mean having access to [Fox’s] library, not to monetize it through traditional means, but to do it through [streaming]?. Bam! I mean, the light bulb went off.”
Disney+ launches on November 12th, for $6.99 per month.