Disney turns to streaming services to boost revenue after suffering heavy losses amid COVID-19
Web Editor:國際日報 International Daily News
Entertainment giant Walt Disney Co.is turning to Internet streaming services to boost revenue after suffering heavy losses following the closure of many of its theme parks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For years, Disney's theme parks have attracted tens of thousands of tourists across the world. But due to the coronavirus, Disney announced in September that it would lay off 28,000 employees, or 25 percent of its domestic workforce, at its theme parks across the U.S..
In the earnings report for its fiscal third quarter, Disney said its overall revenues in the three-month period that ended June 27 fell 42 percent year-over-year to 11.78 billion U.S. dollars.
As a result, Disney is putting more emphasis on its streaming service to keep its original consumers, while hope to draw other consumers through digital transformation.
"Obviously, Disney is in a little bit of trouble right now, but it has, for example, that streaming service. We've seen that there's an increase in consumer spending on streaming service and other at-home entertainments so it puts them in a good position to continue to pivot to consumers changing needs," said Elizabeth Crofoot, a senior economist with the Conference Board, a U.S. non-profit business research organization.
But some business insiders believe that people still prefer the real Disney experience of visiting theme parks instead of streaming services or virtual tours.
"I think the digital aspect of it is just a natural evolution. It's an add-on. People do want to come back naturally to the parks and I think they're excited about it. They could have that to digital experience at home. But ultimately, I think people are eager to get back, get outside and really experience Disney World for what it is," said Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum Media, a U.S. consulting company for media, information, and entertainment industries.
Due to COVID-19, Disney closed its North American parks and resorts, cruise line business and Disneyland Paris in mid-March, while the company's Asia parks and resorts were closed earlier in the quarter.
Disney's theme parks in China, including Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland, had been closed since January amid threat of COVID-19 spread. Shanghai Disneyland welcomed visitors for the first time in May, becoming the first Disney park to reopen since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hong Kong Disneyland reopened in late June and was closed again in July.