Last June, Disney’s departing executive chairman Bob Iger reportedly issued a warning to the company’s management. “In a world and business that is awash with data, it is tempting to use data to answer all of our questions, including creative questions,” he said. “I urge all of you not to do that.”
Bob Chapek, Iger’s successor as CEO, seems to have different ideas. In an interview with Fortune, Chapek described his vision of a Disney that smashes “heretofore definitions of media,” taking “digital storytelling and blend[ing] it with physical storytelling, like in a metaverse where it’s a three-dimensional canvas that gets painted.” And the key to achieving that is data.
“The precursor to everything we’re talking about with the metaverse and this customer-personalized blending of physical and digital is the database,” he says. “We’ve been collecting very deep, rich data for a long time from our parks.”