The Walt Disney Company: An Entertainment Empire - [Business Breakdowns, EP. 101]
Play • 50 min

This is Jesse Pujji and today we’re breaking down The Walt Disney Company. Disney needs no introduction. We have all interacted with the entertainment empire in some capacity. It was founded 100 years ago as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio and over the ensuing century, the business has grown into a conglomerate of entertainment properties that includes the likes of Pixar, Marvel, Disneyland, ESPN, National Geographic, and Disney+.

To explain how the business fits together, I’m joined once again by Ben Weiss, the Chief Investment Officer of 8th & Jackson. We talk about Disney’s famous flywheel, its push into streaming, and why it's such a difficult business to manage. Please enjoy this business breakdown of Disney.


For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here




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Show Notes

(00:02:23) - (First question) - Overview of Disney and their size and scale today 

(00:05:15) - Major milestones across Disney’s one hundred year history 

(00:07:17) - What lead to their decision to buy ABC and subsequently ESPN 

(00:08:00) - Disney’s Original Flywheel; How Disney’s flywheel compounds on top of itself

(00:10:11) - Characterizing their competitors and the markets they play in  

(00:12:58) - Overview of Disney’s theme park business 

(00:15:07) - Fixed costs, growth, and thoughts about volume for their theme parks

(00:17:40) - Their cable business and the drivers of growth and success for it 

(00:21:33) - Netflix: The Original; What’s different about Disney+ compared to Netflix and why they’re losing money 

(00:23:14) - Disney+ verses Netflix in the competitive landscape 

(00:24:45) - How far Disney can extend their content offering without degrading their brand

(00:27:42) - Overview of Disney’s movie business and its growth levers 

(00:29:04) - Creativity, Inc.; A revenue case study of the Cars franchise

(00:33:08) - Company culture in running an effective enterprise as big as Disney 

(00:35:43) - The recent leadership transition and his thoughts on it as an investor

(00:37:24) - Reasons behind the Marvel acquisition in 2009

(00:40:05) - What will have to go right if Disney became the next trillion dollar company

(00:43:32) - Possible reasons why Disney could fail over the coming decade  

(00:45:56) - Lessons for builders and investors when studying Disney’s story

(00:48:54) - Learn more about Disney; Creativity, Inc., The Ride of a Lifetime 

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