Everybody Should Be Very Afraid of the Disney Death Star

The first episode of the Streaming Wars is over. The rebels won. Now the empire strikes back.

Disney also acquires a majority stake in the TV product Hulu, which it may use to kickstart its entry into the streaming wars.

These additions would enrich an overflowing treasury at Disney, whose assets includes Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, ABC, ESPN, the world’s most popular amusement parks, and, of course, its classic animated-film division

.. The deal allows Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire patriarch behind 21st Century Fox, to consolidate his own kingdom—and his legacy—around the very place where he got his start: news.

.. Streaming video has conquered pay TV and created a generation of cord-cutters; the youngest Millennials (those in their late teens and early 20s) watch 50 percent less traditional television .. than people that age did in 2010.

.. For media and entertainment companies, there is one big existential question: Get big and stream, or give up and sell?

.. Traditional television is a pure gerontocracy. The only age demo watching more TV than in 2010 are eligible for Medicare.

.. You could say Disney is spending $60 billion for a risky makeover to appeal to a younger demographic, while Murdoch is using the money to install a golden stair lift.

.. Disney’s long-term strategy is, like Netflix, to own the means of distributing its content. What’s more, this deal is a “horizontal” merger

.. With this deal, Disney would control as much as 40 percent of the the U.S. movie business

.. Its control of the sports-television landscape, between the regional sports networks and ESPN, might be even more concentrated

.. Hollywood studios should be afraid to compete with a corporate Goliath that could earn half of all domestic box-office revenue in a good year.

.. Every tech company should be afraid to get into a content war with a company that combines the

  • top blockbuster movie studio, with a
  • top prestige-film company, with a
  • world-class television production company, with the
  • most valuable franchises—Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and X-Men—in the world.

.. In the last fiscal year ending in October, Disney’s made $55 billion in revenue, with about 60 percent coming from television and film (the rest came from parks, resorts, and merchandise). That 60 percent is endangered: Box-office ticket sales have been flat or declining for years, and television is in obvious structural decline