Returning Disney CEO Bob Iger announces plans for sweeping overhaul of Disney+
It appears Disney is preparing to shake up the way it does business, with company COO Christine McCarthy recently announcing a plan to overhaul much of the way that Disney+ operates. In the process, both the Disney+ launch date and pricing have been set.
The first step is for the company to revamp its user interface, with an overhaul that will include new categories of content and, potentially, content from other networks and companies that are not Disney-owned. The company has been looking at new technologies to help it improve the user experience of the network.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the changes would be a “radical” one, with the current state of user experiences on the platform having been likened to a “bad software version” from the 1980s.
The company plans to announce the changes soon in order to allow customers to prepare for any changes prior to launch. The company has been working on revamping the platform and the user experience for over a year now.
Iger has also been working with the Office of Management and Budget, which will oversee the changes. Previously, it was believed that Iger had ordered the changes to be made with the input of company executives, employees and stakeholders – specifically with a focus on reducing the amount of ads that appear when streaming videos. That would be a major change.
Iger has said that the goal is to bring more of premium content and more of an ad-free approach to Disney+. Currently, the service is only available online, with its first live service slated to come to the Disney Store in 2019. The upcoming live service would not be the company’s first.
The changes to the user experience, in the wake of the changes to the ad system, would mean that streaming would be more like a Netflix-style streaming service and ads would likely be removed completely.
On the other hand, Iger hinted that the company could reintroduce live events to Disney+, but said he would look at a number of different ways to improve the user experience. If they’re a significant improvement, the product would be ready for a relaunch.
The new user experience is expected to roll out in small tests starting sometime after the end of the year, with the first live events coming in 2019.