The Disney Company: Digitally Transforming Entertainment Case Solution & Answer

The Disney Company: Digitally Transforming Entertainment Case Solution


Gone are the days, when online purchases and the social media presence for building up a brand image were considered among revolutions, brought up by the digital transformation. Digital transformation is often misunderstood, which has been a much discussed buzzword. In today’s world, digital transformation has revolutionized the whole world. There are endless options, such the addition of Artificial Intelligence bot in your Applications, more personalized communications and automated billings has reshaped the industrial and business practices.

Disney, a brand, which comes with its own class, has created an appealing customer experiences, with full delight and surprise. The success factor in Disney’s World, revolves around the imagination and the digital transformation. The Worlds and the new stories created by the Walt Disney Studios rely heavily on creativity but bringing such lively vibes to the customers requires the utmost technological spark.

Digital Transformation is at the heart of Disney’s core business. The launch of Disney Plus, put Disney in a greatest competitive advantage and relevant among the leading brands. Disney’s Chairman “Bob Iger” stated that “Disney+ is going to be treated as the most important product that the company has launched”. Due to extensive marketing and content efforts by Disney, Disney has gained 50 million subscribers within five months of its launch on November 12, 2019 (McKinnon, 2020). Has digital transformation been successful at Disney? Is the launch of Disney+, a successful idea? What are consequences of increased competition from Netflix or Hulu? What future strategies might Disney opt in maintaining the competitive edge by bringing advanced digital transformation?

The Company

Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney established “The Walt Disney Company”. TWDC is a well-known multinational that operates cable companies, theme parks and resorts, television and film media, consumer goods, and electronic content. It owns eleven amusement parks and many television networks, including the American Broadcasting Company, and is one of the largest Hollywood studios (ABC). The Walt Disney Company is recognized around the world for entertaining and empowering audiences through the power of imagination, creative minds, and groundbreaking technologies. Walt Disney, though, worked as an animator and illustrator in Kansas before establishing the Disney Brothers Studio. Friedman et al in 2016 point out that the Walt Disney Company began with the primary goal of providing traditional content in the form of 2D animations. Walt Disney Studios, which houses the company’s corporate offices and main manufacturing facilities, is headquartered in California (Burbank). The headquarters are in a major corporate company in the United States. (TWDC) and its subsidiaries has stayed true to their promises to deliver unrivaled immersive experiences. It is built on a foundation of high-quality artistic content and compelling narrative. (TWDC), along with its divisions & franchises is a multinational family entertainment and media business that operates in four markets such as Theme Parks & Resorts, Consumer items, Studio entertainment & media networks.

Historical Background

With high hopes of marketing his cartoon character Walt,In the summer of 1923, arrived in California. In Kansas City, he created “Alice’s Wonderland,” a cartoon character based on a young child. Walt Disney decided to use the character as a test film in order to market the series of “Alice Comedies” to every producer after developing the character. Soon after arriving in California, he was able to achieve his goal. On October 16, 1923, M.J. Wrinkler, a Nyc based distributor, signed a deal with Walt Disney for the sale of Alice Comedies, which became the foundation for (The Disney Company). Walt Disney was initially recognized as the (Disney Brothers Cartoon Factory), where the “Walt Disney”& his brother Roy workedas partners,but the name was altered to “Walt Disney Studio” after Roy’s suggestion, and started producing animated films that later become the backbone of Disney.

Walt Disney produced Alice Comedies for four years in a row, but in 1927, he wanted to start doing all-cartoon series. He created a new character called (The Lucky Rabbit) as a start-up.

In 1937, Walt Disney published “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Just one animated feature is included in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films.

Disneyland, first amusement park by Disney, opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955, covering 160 acres. Despite several problems, from start, Disneyland continued to be most acclaimed and financially successful theme parks in the world. Walt Disney directly oversaw the building of Disneyland.

Walt Disney died from lung cancer in December 1966. Walt Disney World first launch in Florida, in 1971. Roy Disney passed away at the end of 1971. At the time, Donn Tatum took over as CEO, followed by Card Walker, and then Ron Miller, Walt’s son-in-law.The purchase of additional theme parks and media properties encouraged Disney’s growth.

The Disney Channel premiered in April, 1983. The channel was supposed to cater kids and teens during the daytime and families by nightfall, according to the original plan.Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera have all attributed their success to the Disney channel’s Mickey Mouse Club.Internationally, the Disney Empire was still growing.

In 1983, Tokyo Disney opened, followed by Euro Disney in 1992. Tokyo Disney consists of two amusement parks and three Disney hotels, all of which are located to the east of the city. There are two amusement parks and seven hotels at Euro Disney. Within walking distance of Disney’s properties are currently 11 amusement parks and 44 hotels.

Disney paid nearly $70 million to Harvey and Bob Weinstein for Miramax Film Corporation,in 1993. Miramax was a division of Disney that existed independently.Under Disney’s watchful eye, the Weinstein brothers continued to run Miramax.

In 2005, Miramax was valued at over $2 billion, with a film collection that included “Pulp Fiction” and the Shakespeare in Love.The release of the controversial film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which focused on “President-Bush” following the (9/11) attacks, was one of the most divisive topics.

7.4 billion were paid by the Disney in term of cash and stock for Pixar Animation Studios in May 2006.This partnership began in 1997, when the two companies agreed to collaborate on 5 films, including Cars, The Incredible & the finding NEMO. Pixar’s computer animation experience was combined with Disney’s marketing and distribution capabilities, resulting in a win-win situation. Steve Jobs, the company’s founder and Apple’s CEO, became a member of the Disney board of directors after the purchase of Pixar.

In 2009, Disney paid almost $4 billion for Marvel Entertainment. As a result of this contract, Disney also acquired the rights to a number of well-known comic characters, including, the X-Men, The Spider man, Captain America, & Thor.As Disney introduces the numerous characters across its various schemes, the Marvel purchase could prove profitable.

In October 2012, Disney paid $4 billion in cash and equity to George Lucas for the Lucas film franchise. George Lucas is well known for his famous films such as Star Wars, Temple of Doom& Indiana Jones. Along with the purchase, Disney revealed that upcoming Star Wars film will be releasing in 2015. Until now $4.4 billion was grossed by The Star War movies at overseas box offices

Product Portfolio

It has five different sections including Studio entertainment, Park and resorts, Direct to customers, Media network, and Interactive media.


Studio Entertainment produces live-action and animated films, as well as direct-to-video, musical recordings, and live stage productions. Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Music Publishing, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disney Nature, Touchstone Pictures, DreamWorks Studio, Disney on Broadway, Disney on Ice, and Disney Live are all under the Walt Disney Animation Studios umbrella.

Park and resorts

The Parks, Experiences, and Products group, which owns and operates 11 theme parks, includes Walt Disney World and Walt Disney Land. The 43 resorts include Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. The Disney Cruise Line consists of four ships: the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy.

Direct to customers

A broad variety of advertisers, game creators, distributors, and retailers around the world license DTCI’s trade names, books, and graphic and literature software.Moreover, it creates and sells novels, magazines, comic books, stationary, electronics, and fine art, with a focus on mobile platforms.This division also sells licensed goods through retail, online, and wholesale outlets.

Media Networks

The Media Networks division includes cable and satellite television networks, television manufacturing and distribution operations, domestic television channels, and radio networks and stations.

Interactive media

Disney Interactive Studios and the Walt Disney Internet Group merged to create the Disney Interactive Media Group. This includes Disney Interactive Studios (Rocket Pack), Disney Online Studios, Disney Mobile, and Playdom, as well as Disney Online, which develops casual games for Facebook and Myspace.

Disney’s Digital Transformation

Disney is a renowned organization, which has changed enormously over years. While maintain the legacy and relinquishing their brand, Disney has leveraged the data and technology. The times, where the financial institutions were caught between the digital consumers and practicing legacy cultures, Disney formulated new strategies, which integrated the modern technologies along with a personalized human touch. Disney has digitally transformed itself through innovation, strong leadership, extensive hiring and training of right people and with some “magic”, only possible at Disney……………………….

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