Disney CEO Bob Iger Says Fox Purchase Was All About Building Disney+ Content

Ever since the deal for The Walt Disney Company to buy tons of assets from 21st Century Fox was announced, there has been a fair share of concern about what this means for the future of studio filmmaking. Now that the deal has closed, we've already  seen some of the upsetting fallout of that purchase, but it will be years before we see how this changes the box office landscape.

However, aside from the worries of cinephiles who think this is one more step in Disney owning the entire world, CEO Bob Iger revealed that the motivation for spending billions of dollars on Fox wasn't to create a media monopoly. Instead, it was to help beef up the library of titles that will be available on Disney+.

Speaking with CNBC after the unveiling of the future of Disney+ last week, Iger said the purchase of a bunch of Fox properties would not have happened if they weren't moving into the subscription streaming service arena:

"We would not have done that transaction had we not decided to go in this [streaming] direction because — if we hadn't, we would have been looking at that business and through a traditional lens: 'Oh, we're buying TV channels. We're buying more movie-making capability, etc."

Indeed, considering how big The Walt Disney Company's media empire was already, there wouldn't have been much more benefit to buying all that stuff from Fox if they weren't somehow going to make even more money off of it. But if they had all this content available for their streaming service and could provide something like every single season of The Simpsons on the first day Disney+ launches, then they have the chance of raking in a whole new revenue stream with existing content. Iger continued:

"By the time the acquisition opportunity came up, and we knew we were going in this space, we evaluated what we were buying through this new lens of: 'Wow, what could National Geographic mean to us?' What could it mean having access to [Fox's] library, not to monetize it through traditional means, but to do it through [streaming]? Bam! I mean, the light bulb went off."

The purchase of Fox has given Disney a wide variety of content that already has a built-in audience, and Disney+ will be the new home for audiences to catch tons of movies and TV shows, as well as new projects based on existing properties from the Fox library. As we've already seen, the National Geographic label has allowed them to give us The World According to Jeff Goldblum, which might already make the acquisition of Fox totally worth it.

What does seem redundant is grabbing Fox's stake in Hulu, giving Disney a 60% share of the Netflix competitor. But that might actually be good news for viewers who aren't keen on getting only a bunch of new Disney movies. Having a controlling stake in Hulu could allow Disney to provide another streaming home for the kind of Fox titles that are less family friendly than the content that they want to have on Disney+, so maybe we'll see more adult-oriented titles ending up over there. Perhaps there's even a chance Disney will develop more mature content directly for Hulu too.

Disney+ launches on November 12, 2019 for the crazy low price of $6.99 per month. Find out what's coming with it here.