Disney+: A new streaming service rolls out November 12
Calling all ages, Disney+ a new streaming service created by The Walt Disney Company rolls out on November 12. Disney Fanatics and National Geographic fans alike can rejoice at the news of the media giants on-demand streaming service.
Wait, National Geographic fans as well?
Yes, you read that right. At first glance, the common person would assume that Disney is owned by The Walt Disney Company and that’s it. Only after searching what the company owns will a person start to figure out a well-hidden secret that’s in plain sight, the existence of media conglomerates.
A media conglomerate defined by Wikipedia is a “company that owns numerous companies involved in mass media enterprises, such as television, radio, publishing and motion pictures.” In fact, The Walt Disney company is one of the largest media conglomerates. A recent merger was with 21st Century Fox (The Walt Disney Company bought 21st-Century Fox for $71.3 billion dollars). The deal was sealed in March of 2019, paving the way for The Walt Disney Company to take over rights and control of even more tv shows, movies, networks and even the streaming service Hulu.
According to Vox News, “Disney now owns Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu. Since it already owned 30 percent of Hulu prior to the Fox deal, its ownership stake in the streaming service is now 60 percent, making it the majority owner.”
If you think of one company owning 21st Century Fox isn’t a big deal let’s take a quick look at what 21st Century Fox (a once independent media conglomerate before Disney purchased it) actually owns. Besides all the movies clearly owned and produced by 21st Century Fox other things controlled by the company are; 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studio, National Geographic, FX Network and Productions, FoxNext and more.
So, The Walt Disney company owns 21st Century Fox; What else?
Other networks Disney has a share in are ESPN Incorporated with a 80 percent share, ABC News and Freeform (both under Walt Disney Television), a 50 percent share in the A&E network (think A&E, The History Channel and Lifetime), a 50 percent share in Endemol Shine Group, and complete control of LucasFilm Ltd (think Star Wars), Pixar and Marvel Entertainment which was purchased, according to Investopedia.com, in August 2009 for $4 billion.
In short, Disney owns everything from the corny Lifetime movies your mom tries to make you watch with her around the holidays to the entire Marvel and Star Wars franchise.
The days of The Walt Disney Company solely producing cute cartoons of Mickey Mouse are over. This company owns a lot more than what meets the eye. This is how Disney+ (the new streaming service) can market entire Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, Disney and National Geographic franchises to the consumer for a monthly price of just $6.99.
Although, all of us can jump with joy with more entertainment being offered on-demand (goodbye commercials), one has to ask; How much control of the media market should be allowed before it’s considered a monopoly? After all, with the proliferation of media conglomerates comes the power of only a select number of people in control of what hundreds of millions of people watch and lend their ear to.