DisneyIdeas/Commentary

Disney CEO Bob Iger Reveals the Future of Entertainment

Bob Iger. (Photo via Shutterstock/s_bukley)

For the Wall Street Journal’s 125th anniversary edition, Disney CEO Bob Iger contributed his thoughts on the future of entertainment, which is valuable insofar as it reflects the views of the person in charge of the world’s largest entertainment/media conglomerate in terms of revenue. Iger’s formula boils down to the following:

Storytelling+Customization+Social=$$$

Highlights from Iger’s think piece:

Mobile storytelling, and mobile entertainment, will dominate our lives, and offer rich, compelling experiences well beyond what is available today. Where someone is will no longer be a barrier to being entertained; the geography of leisure will be limitless.

One of the most exciting developments I see on the horizon is technology that will immerse us into entertaining worlds, or project those worlds and experiences into our lives. In essence, entertainment will be immeasurably enhanced with both virtual-reality experiences and augmented-reality experiences. Bringing us into created worlds and bringing created worlds into our world will fundamentally explode the boundaries of storytelling, unburdening the storyteller in ways we can’t yet imagine.

That’s why we value entertainment “events” that create treasured memories, strengthen personal connections and deliver shared experiences, whether at the movies, in a theme park, or at a sports stadium. This is entertainment that cannot be time-shifted or duplicated; you have to be there, immersed in the moment.

An experience is enhanced when shared with others, becoming something to be savored and remembered long after it’s over. These social events enrich our lives, and our need for them will never change.

The only thing that Iger is absolutely sure of though is the storytelling part, because that’s what Walt Disney once said. So, Iger concludes, “Although I can’t predict the precise future of entertainment, I share Walt Disney’s optimism and his belief that whatever lies ahead, it will be defined by great storytelling. Just like it always has been.”

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