Reading: Diversification Example

Disney

Diversification: create new opportunities by creating new products that will be introduced in new markets

Photo of Disneyland Toontown.
Disneyland Toontown

When you hear the word Disney, what comes to mind? Many people think of Disney movies such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast or theme parks like Disneyland and Disney World. Disney’s product portfolio also includes Marvel Comics, television network ABC, and cable sports channel ESPN. The company has pursued a diversification strategy, which means purchasing other companies that enable it to bring new products into new markets while remaining true to Disney’s origins.

Today, 54% of Disney’s revenues—but only 32% of its profits—come from movies and parks.[1] Its most profitable growth comes from new products in new markets.

Strategic Business Unity Percent of 2014 revenue Percent of 2014 profits
Studio entertainment
Films in theater, home and TV
18% 12%
Parks and resorts
Theme parks, cruises
36% 20%
Media networks
TV stations and advertising
51% 56%
Consumer products
Licensing characters for products
10% 10%
Interactive
Game platforms and games
3% 1%

An industry analyst explains:

This wide diversification is what has allowed Disney to be so successful recently; Disney owns some of the biggest names in the entertainment world: ESPN, ABC, Disney theme parks, Disney cruise lines, and Pixar, just to name a few. Unlike many entertainment companies, Disney does not solely rely on films, TV, or parks; it is well diversified and relies on its wide reach to create one of the most recognized and popular brands in the world.[2]

Disney’s diversification identifies new products and markets that are close enough to its core business that the company can leverage its internal strengths to create business growth. Following the acquisition of ABC, Barry Diller, the former head of QVC Inc. and the man credited with creating the Fox network, said, “Taking nothing away from the senior management at the other networks, this will be the only one where the senior executive is trained true in the creative process.”[3]


  1. http://cdn.media.ir.thewaltdisneycompany.com/2014/annual/10k-wrap-2014.pdf
  2. Disney's Diversification Is Key To Growth. (2012, October 9). SeekingAlpha.com. http://seekingalpha.com/article/912781-disneys-diversification-is-key-to-growth
  3. Fabrikant, G. (1995, August 1). The Media Business: The Merger; Walt Disney To Acquire ABC In $19 Billion Deal To Build A Giant For Entertainment. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/01/business/media-business-merger-walt-disney-acquire-abc-19-billion-deal-build-giant-for.html

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Introduction to Marketing I 2e (MKTG 1010) by NSCC & Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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