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Disney laying off 7,000 staff but doubling down on streaming

Disney is laying off 7,000 members of staff as it seeks to cut $5.5 billion (£4.5 billion) in costs.

Returning Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the news that he would be laying off 4 percent of the company’s global workforce at an earnings report on Wednesday. He didn’t specify exactly where these cuts would be made.

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The Disney stalwart unveiled a new operating structure that would break the company down into three main divisions: Disney entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks experiences and products. This will mean that all of the company’s content production and distribution efforts (excluding sports) will be housed under one metaphorical roof.

He also placed streaming at the centre of this revamped Disney, revealing that “Our priority is the enduring growth and profitability of our streaming business”.

This renewed focus comes just as Disney Plus subscriber numbers have started to slow. The lucrative streaming platform, which is home to various Marvel and Star Wars-based movies and TV shows, added a mere 200,000 subscribers in its domestic US market during the latest quarter, and 1.2 million internationally.

While revenues are up for the division containing Disney Plus, it sustained an operating loss of $1.1 billion. It seems a prolific streaming platform got expensive to run in late 2022, just like most other things.

All the same, Iger expects Disney Plus to “hit profitability by the end of fiscal 2024”.

“We must return creativity to the center of the company, increase accountability, improve results and ensure the quality of our content and experiences,” said Iger.

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