Disney chieftain Robert Iger continues to seek a future beyond DVD and Blu-ray, floating the idea of an online video club for Mouse house fare.
The Disney movie and TV service would work on a subscription model.
Iger has become more pessimistic about DVDs in past months, citing the popularity of online video. “We’re trying to find ways to make it work for us and not fight it,” Iger told the Media and Communications Conference in Palm Beach, Fla. “From our perspective, the computer is a very, very important place to entertain people.”
He cited a poll that showed more than 80 percent of viewers between the ages of 13 and 24 consider a computer their primary entertainment source, with TV running second. The erosion of traditional electronic media shows no sign of slowing — Iger gets that.
Another good reason to go with an online service for kids: The new generation of parents are increasingly consuming entertainment from their computers and will be comfortable paying for streaming Disney product.
Disney has been busily hedging its bets in the home video arena. It has been selling titles with both DVD and Blu-ray versions in the box, assuring buyers that their movie won’t become obsolete.
In February, Iger announced that Disney would reduce the number of DVDs and Blu-rays it releases. “When the economy rebounds, the normal we see (in the DVD business) is not necessarily going to be the normal we were used to.”
Also on the conference beat, Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy on Wednesday watered down his recent suggestions that the mail-rental giant was about to offer an online-only subscription option for its Watch Instantly service. He cited lack of market penetration for WI-ready devices such as the Roku box.