The Walt Disney Company intends to increase its content investment in its fiscal year 2022, which began on October 1.
Disney aims to spend $33 billion on content over the next year, according to the company’s annual report, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday afternoon. This includes streaming programming, linear programming, and sports content.
This is an $8 billion increase from fiscal 2021, when the business spent about $25 billion on content, according to the company.
“The increase is driven by higher spending to support our DTC expansion,” the business noted in its annual report, “and usually expects no substantial interruptions in production due to COVID-19.” In other words, the company’s streaming operations at Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, rather than any of the company’s linear TV or film companies, are driving the $8 billion content surge.
The massive $33 billion content spend figure reflects the high stakes that entertainment companies face as they go direct-to-consumer. Sports rights, for example, are extremely expensive and locked in long-term contracts, but it also reflects the high stakes that entertainment companies face as they go direct-to-consumer. Discovery CEO David Zaslav claims that when his business merges with WarnerMedia, he plans to spend $20 billion on content in the first year, whereas Netflix would spend over $14 billion this year.
Disney also revealed the number of films and television episodes it wants to release in 2022. In fiscal 2022, Disney’s Studios division plans to release 50 films in theaters and on digital platforms, while its General Entertainment division plans to produce or commission 60 unscripted series, 30 comedy series, 25 drama series, 15 docuseries/limited series, 10 animated series, and 5 made-for-TV movies.
The ABC and Disney television studios, National Geographic, and FX Productions are all part of General Entertainment. Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, LucasFilm, Pixar, and Twentieth Century Studios are among the studios.
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