Walt Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger has said it’s too early to discount the ability of media companies to drive revenue from emerging new media platforms, such as Apple's iPad or the online video site Hulu.
Perhaps the most aggressive of major media moguls in making content available on new media platforms, Iger defended his distribution decisions from critics who question whether Disney is releasing too much of its popular content into channels that don’t have a viable business model.
“It’s too early to write the epitaph of new media when it comes to monetisation,” Iger said at an investor conference in New York. “We’ve taken a position as a company to be present on those platforms.”
Disney’s ABC broadcast network is one of the few major networks that has chosen to make its programming available on the iPad. Some observers view the decision as a result of Iger’s close relationship with Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who sits on Disney’s board of directors and is the company’s largest shareholder.
Iger said he wants Disney’s content to be present on new technologies that are popular with consumers like the iPad, even if the business model behind the technologies has not yet fully evolved.
“We felt there was value in being on that platform first,” Iger said, adding that it makes Disney’s brands more relevant. “We believe that while we are monetising our content there today through advertising, and that’s growing nicely, we’ll find other and more robust ways to monetise in the future.”