The entertainment industry is in a state of massive flux. After every studio and their mother went hard into streaming during the pandemic the realities of the streaming ecosystem and the current economy are hitting studios hard with almost all of them retreating in some way or another. The situation, according to THR, has led to something that most people have thought unthinkable: the sale of Disney to Apple.
While the report does make the point that many people still believe this to be absolutely ridiculous, there are signs that Bob Iger, Disney’s returning CEO, is setting Disney up for an acquisition by the tech giant that sits on more than $60 billion in cash and is, of course, looking to become an entertainment juggernaut of its own. Disney has been struggling (relatively) with its streaming and box office returns and under Iger has conducted a series of high-profile layoffs and restructurings to the point that even Marvel and Star Wars are seeing reductions in their output. Then Iger recently said that the studio may be looking to sell off its TV properties like ABC and FX, giving a possible sign that he’s slimming the company down in preparation for a sale.
“I don’t think [Apple] would buy the company as it presently exists,” A veteran Hollywood executive told THR. “But if you see Bob start to divest things … that feels like he’s prepping for a sale. And there’s clearly no buyer like Apple.”
The move would be in line with where the industry is going as tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Netflix becoming the masters of entertainment thanks to the fact that they don’t have to solely rely on entertainment for income. However, it would probably come as a shock for most people who see Disney as a bedrock of the entertainment industry; one of those things that will always be there without fail. The idea that Disney, the biggest and most successful entertainment company on earth, could be acquired probably seems ridiculous to most, and, to be fair, many analysts say the idea is still just that.
With that in mind, however, here’s a quote from Iger, who sat on Apple’s board, himself taken from his memoir: “I believe that if Steve (Jobs) were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.”