The New York times recently published an interview with the CEO of the Walt Disney Company. Among other things, he spoke of the nature of the business, how he spends time with his family and the future of the company.
One of the most prominent and important aspects of the interview concerned Twitter. Iger claimed that the company had eyed buying the social media platform in the past. This information raises three big questions.
The answer to this question is a simple one. Twitter simply did not fit into the wider Disney brand.
Whereas Walt Disney Company specializes in creating family content, Twitter is for a more adult audience. Its size means it cannot be effectively regulated. It’s a company that could be potentially harmful for children if under the Disney banner.
Not only this but Twitter is becoming an increasingly nasty place. Outside of personal feuds, the site is being used for vigorous political debate; it is also being used inappropriately by state actors such as Russia .
Iger stated that Twitter could have been a useful platform to help Disney expand its brand. It would have been a place to directly communicate with fans. Not only this, it would have served as a great location for exclusives. You could even imagine the social media network being linked up to Disney Plus in some form.
The acquisition of FOX left many people in the industry alarmed. It’s never healthy to allow a single company to own so much. It limits opportunities and potentially stifles creativity.
The purchase of Twitter would have been even more concerning. The political involvement of the platform and its use for advertising would have made Disney even more powerful.
It’s probably a good thing that Iger never went through with the purchase. But this suggests that there are more high stakes acquisitions in store for the future. If Iger was ready to buy Twitter then there must be other opportunities like this in the future. Another social media platform may be in Disney’s sights. Failing this, perhaps there’s a desire to build a social media platform of their own.
Despite what has happened with Twitter, it is clear that Disney is not ready to pause on their empire building. Indeed, the company already bought LucasFilm, home to the galactic empire. Alongside this they’ve purchased PIXAR and Marvel in recent years. As the company continues to expand, there must be a lot of public and media scrutiny on its continued choices.