Disney: Financials and Technology (Part 1)

Disney: Financials and Technology (Part 1)

Some Disney financial facts and data:

Disney has around 185,000 employees, and an annual revenue of US$M 52,465.0

“The company recorded revenues of $52,465 million during the financial year ended October 2015 (FY2015), an increase of 7.5% over FY2014. In FY2015, the US and Canada, the company’s largest geographic market, accounted for 76.9% of the total revenues.”

Walt Disney generates revenues through five business segments: media networks (44.3% of the total revenues in FY2015), Parks and Resorts (30.8%), studio entertainment (14%), consumer products (8.6%) and interactive (2.2%). (We will be focusing on the media networks, studio entertainment, and interactive segments). In FY2015, the media networks segment recorded revenues of $23,264 million, an increase of 10% over FY2014. The studio entertainment segment recorded revenues of $7,366 million in FY2015, an increase of 1.2% over FY2014. The interactive segment recorded revenues of $1,174 million in FY2015, a decrease of 9.6% as compared to FY2014.

For the most part, the company is doing very well, recording a majority of FY (Fiscal Years) increases from the previous year. How did the company fare in years past, with the rise of the Internet and technology?




(Steady increase in “Revenue” for the Walt Disney Company from 2014-2016)



Disney History and Overview: Timeline of Technology

Disney History and Overview: Timeline of Technology

I came across a timeline of Disney’s successes through innovation and technology recently, and would like to share it. In “14 iconic milestones of Disney innovation,” we take a look at Disney’s “groundbreaking technology” and how the company has changed and developed throughout the years. In 1929, the famous “Steamboat Willie” was released, with synchronized sound cartoons. After the success of the first animated movie, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” (1937), a couple years passed, and the company produced the movie “Fantasia” (1982 version), the first “film done in digital sound.” “Toy Story’ is one of the best Pixar films, with “Toy Story 3′ being one of my top Pixar movies to watch. Pixar released the first computer animated full-length film (Toy Story) in 1995.

ABC is another news station owned by the overall Disney brand. “ABC became the first network to offer ad-supported TV episodes online for free, via its own branded player,” in 2006. I will be talking about the Disney Theme Parks a lot in the upcoming posts, with the technology like MagicBands coming to the front of the headlines. In 2013, MagicBands were released at Disney World (and other theme parks), which allowed customers and visitors to come in/pay with RFID tags. Finally, last year (2015), Disney released an Apple Watch, with Mickey Mouse on its face! Through the century, all different technologies have influenced Disney and let it become the power it is today. Using these new and upcoming innovations, like Virtual Reality for example, Disney will continue to thrive and expand in the coming years.



Here is the link to the source if you want to check it out: http://fortune.com/2014/12/29/disney-innovation-timeline/


Live Social Media: Instagram

Disney’s Official Instagram page, interacting with their fans at their theme parks like Disneyland (and Disney World). This one is taken all the way at Shanghai, showing the spread of the company throughout the world through the Internet.


Disney and the Internet + Social Media: Disney’s Digital Newsroom

Disney and the Internet + Social Media: Disney’s Digital Newsroom

The article I want to analyze this time is “Inside Disney’s digital ‘newsroom’: ‘Our goal is to win the Internet every day’,” by Hamedy (2016). The reading highlights the Disney Interactive Media team, and how they pride themselves as the cornerstone for Disney’s Internet and Social Media publicity.

“The ultimate goal of the Disney Interactive Media team is to get all things Disney — everything from the new Alice Through the Looking Glass to a new Disney product — to resonate on the Internet.” The Disney Interactive and Disney Consumer Products joined to become Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media in 2015; however, they usually act and work independently from yet another division, Maker Studios, with some collaboration. When they do work together, the two teams hope to “work with someone who has their own audience to help us tell a story we’ll bring them on board and help them go out and create with us.”

To give you some statistics, DI Media has built its social footprint to 1.15 billion followers across its platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat and Vine). The digital arm of Disney racks up about 325 million views per month. The team sees themselves as a newsroom, instead of a marketing or PR team. Core brands of DI media include: Babble, Disney Style, and Oh My Disney (similar to Buzzfeed but with a Disney take). As a team they have been growing rapidly; the new digital talent members are even called “digitologists,” and they include creatives, marketers, editorial and data experts. They work together to make everything and anything they can for DI Media audiences, experimenting with with what works and what doesn’t.

I personally love and recommend this series (that is made by DI Media) myself: the “As told by Emoji” series -“one of DI Media’s more popular YouTube franchises is the “As told by Emoji” series, which launched last year with videos on Frozen, Tangled, Aladdin and Frozen Fever.”  The team has gone a long way since they first started, they’ve gained a lot of trust from the Disney filmmakers and top names like LucasFilm and Pixar; when DI Meida asks to emojify a certain movie, they are trusted and given the go-ahead.

Here is a link to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: “As Told By Emoji”-

Here is the link to the article if you want to read more yourself: http://mashable.com/2016/05/31/disney-interactive-media-digital-content/#Im.85Yg6UqqL


Disney and the Internet: Theme Parks + Gender/Race

Disney and the Internet: Theme Parks + Gender/Race

The article I want to focus on this time is “The Internet Marketing of Disney Theme Parks: An Analysis of Gender and Race,” by Auster, C. & Michaud, M. (2013). This reading is a little different from what you would expect, because it chooses to look at how Disney was affected by the Internet in terms of diversity. In particular it analyzes “the portrayal of gender and race in the images on the official Disney websites used to market five theme parks: the Disneyland Parks in California, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and the Magic Kingdom in Florida.”

What we see is a deeper look into the use of the Internet in Disney theme parks and a study done to gage the use the Internet and online marketing; however, the part that is different is how they go from a different point of view. To reiterate, the study is done on the basis of diversity of Disney websites. For example, the company markets itself online using different images of diverse genders and races. We learn how Disney transitioned from eventually being diverse in films (like the Princess and the Frog), to being diverse in its advertising and Internet marketing usage. We are given an in-depth look at the Disney websites (in particular the different Disney World and Disneyland pages), and how they present themselves to different cultures to bring people of all kind to their parks.

Furthermore, the findings reveal that females have been underrepresented throughout Disney’s history and animated films (as a whole); this is contrary to popular belief since many Disney movies are about princesses. Similar findings were discovered with non-white races in Disney’s movies. One particular part I want to highlight is that the authors conducted a study of the images of attractions, entertainment, and dining establishments that appeared on the official websites of five Disney resorts to examine human characters, human-like characters, animals, and cast members in terms of gender, as well as guests in terms of both gender and race. Because of the fame of Disney, and the influence of the Internet today, Auster and Michaud sincerely believe that “powerful, multinational corporation, The Disney Company is in the position to potentially influence how individuals viewing their websites see gender and race.” If done and used correctly (which they are making notable progress), Disney can use their Internet marketing and present their sites in ways to better represent all people.



Feel free to read more about the study and findings in the link down below:





Disney is a very well known company, but it has not always been what we see currently. Disney has gone through many changes, and the Internet is one huge factor that brought about change for the corporation. Historically, there are various times and events that Disney has evolved or adapted because of the Internet. Ultimately, technology has influenced and helped Disney expand to become the company we know and love today.