Bob Iger, the new CEO of Disney, has come with important changes within the company, but perhaps not all of them are what its shareholders and employees would have wanted. In his presentation of the benefits of the last quarter of 2022, Iger has announced the layoff of 7,000 people. That is, 3.2% of the 220,000 that the company had in October 2022.
You must save money. The cut is the most important measure to save 5,500 million dollars, of which 2,500 have to be in cuts unrelated to content. Savings have already been achieved, from that forecast and according to Iger, 1,000 million. As for the content, it can only be conjectured, but it is obvious that it will affect future projects and the Disney + platform, and they are cuts that will affect production in the coming years, according to CFO Christine McCarthy.
Of those 2,500 million that Disney wants to save, 50% correspond to marketing expenses, 30% to the workforce and 20% to technology and other additional expenses. According to McCarthy, the objectives will be achieved by the end of the fiscal year of 2024, but the very important percentage that is wanted to save in marketing is striking, a decision whose effects we will undoubtedly notice for practical purposes in the coming months.
But more movies. To compensate for this decision, and to show that future Disney productions are on safe ground, Disney has also announced a few sequels to animated hits: we will have new installments of ‘Toy Story’, ‘Frozen’ and ‘Zootopia’. Guarantees, without a doubt, for the box office, although also a stick for some analysts who believe that, after Lightyear’s relative failure at Disney+, the franchise of toys that come to life should be left to rest.
It is widely believed that Disney is spoiling its own franchise with its accumulation of false endings: the sensational Toy Story 3 concluded quite logically, with Andy giving up his toys to a new girl. And while Toy Story 4 unnecessarily prolonged that conclusion, we again had a more-or-less ending: Buddy leading a group of toys going off to live a feral life, and Buzz leading a group returning to their owner.
Subscription drop. These sequel announcements for what are undoubtedly the two most important animated franchises for Disney today try to offset other bad news for the company at the end of the year. For example, the drop in subscribers to their streaming services. Especially bleeding has been the case of Disney + Hotstar, the platform that the company has in India, and where 2.4 million subscribers have been lost.
2.4 million subscribers, mainly from Disney+ Hotstar, the company’s Indian streamer. Apparently, like in the United States, Disney+ Hotstar subscribers weren’t too keen on Lightyear, which explains why Disney’s returning to the toybox. Maybe if Disney gives us more Forky, it’ll bury the news that Disney is making 7,000 employees redundant.
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