Walt Disney will adopt the Star India model to capture the emerging Asian markets. The philosophy was revealed by Walt Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment chairman Kevin Mayer at the APOS 2019 in Bali, Indonesia.
Mayer has revealed that Disney would deploy the successful Indian business model built by Uday Shankar in other emerging Asian markets. “Star India is the type of model we’d like to see throughout Asia, not exactly, but traditional TV moving over the top in a very significant way. If we see that in south-east Asia, we’d be very pleased,” an indiantelevision.com report has quoted Kevin Mayer as saying.
Under Uday Shankar’s leadership Star India has acquired vital sports properties like the International Cricket Council and the Indian Premier League media rights. Star India’s overall content portfolio amounts to 25% of the total television content consumption in India.
While highlighting Asia as the “super important” for Disney’s growth plan, Mayer has also termed Star India as a crown jewel of 21stCentury Fox acquisition.
Mayer also highlighted that Disney had been analysing the benefits of direct-to-consumer (D2C) business for over five years. “Going all in with the new business model, disrupting the film business is not taken lightly,” Mayer said.
Disney, explained Mayer, saw two major benefits of adopting a direct-to-consumer approach.
“The only way to get data of people’s affinities, habits and viewing patterns is to have a direct relationship with them. We can then use that data to personalise the service and serve the consumers better,” he said.
Mayer also said that the D2C service will help propel the company’s financial growth strategy. “There’s a whole part of the value chain that doesn’t rely on third parties. And that distribution value chain doesn’t require massive infrastructure anymore. It requires the right brands, the right videos, and the way to inject that video onto the internet. You can do that. You can have a high-quality distributor. We have the brands that work, brands that matter, therefore built-in equity with consumers and the advantage to get people to view our product online outside of a traditional TV bundle,” he said.
Mayer also opined that Disney+ will co-exist in the marketplace with existing platforms. “We’re not after being bigger than Netflix or beating Netflix,” he said. “Netflix is a very high-quality service, we’re offering entirely different content. We’d just like to serve consumers well.”