Lightyear Lightyear

Disney will significantly increase its content spend next year as it turbocharges its streaming operation.

The company will spend around $33 billion on producing and licensing content in Fiscal Year 2022, it revealed in its annual report, which it has filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (read the report here). That’s a jump from approximately $25 billion in the last fiscal year, which ended on October 2, 2021.

Don’t expect animation to see too much of that money, of course. A lot of it will go toward sports rights: the company is committed to spending $10.3 billion on that alone. Also, the General Entertainment segment, which mostly covers episodic programs and news, plans to commission or produce some 140 series, only ten of which will be animated. Here’s the breakdown by category:

  • 60 unscripted series
  • 30 comedy series
  • 25 drama series
  • 15 docuseries/limited series
  • 10 animated series
  • 5 made-for-tv movies
  • Numerous specials and shorts

Original content in this segment is generally produced by the Disney-owned studios ABC Signature, 20th Television, Disney Branded Television, FX Productions, and National Geographic Studios.

Meanwhile, the Studios division — Walt Disney Pictures, Twentieth Century Studios, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Searchlight Pictures — will produce around 50 titles in the coming year, both films and episodic. These will be released theatrically and/or on streaming. Genre and medium breakdowns aren’t given.

These plans depend on there being no more significant disruption from the pandemic, the company added.

Meanwhile, the number of Disney employees has fallen to a six-year low. The company employed around 190,000 people at the end of FY 2021 — a drop from 203,000 a year previously and 223,000 two years ago. The workforce is roughly 80% full time, 15% part time, and 5% seasonal workers.

In the past 12 months, Disney announced tens of thousands of layoffs at its theme parks, blaming the effects of the pandemic. The company drew the ire of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of company co-founder Roy O. Disney, both of whom accused it of placing the interests of executives ahead of those of low-paid staff.

Image at top: Pixar’s “Lightyear,” which will be released in 2022

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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