Disney just keeps on growing into the most unlikely of businesses. What was once the domain of plastic mouse ears and other miscellaneous trinkets has grown into a conglomerate of movie studios, television properties, Internet properties, streaming technologies, home video distribution, sports channel networks, and the list goes on and on. Now, the company may be in line to take on something entirely different. Microblogging service Twitter Inc. is said to be in dire trouble as users continue to decline and fails to keep up with the latest trends in social media. Twitter is said to be looking to sell its business, but the question is, which parties are interested in acquiring the company?
According to reports, some of the potential suitors are said to be Salesforce.com, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and surprisingly, Disney, a company that is also said to be interested. Twitter has allegedly hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to solicit other buyers, and is said to be moving closer to a formal sale process, but is not yet in the negotiation phase.
Of the bidders mentioned, Disney is your typical anomaly. What would a company whose main market is kids do with a microblogging service? That remains to be seen, and while it is a bit humoring, Disney, a powerhouse organization that at the moment, apparently cannot miss on its investments. Perhaps that is a bit of a facetious statement to be sure, but the spirit of its message remains: Disney is a powerhouse that successfully crosses genres in various industries. Twitter may be the next big piece of their story.
Will Disney princesses be tweeting to its fans? Maybe, maybe not.
So why do we think Disney is interested in the microblogging platform? In recent months, Twitter has partnered with a number of entities for live streaming such as CBS News to live stream the convention coverage, Cheddar to stream daily business news shows, and Bloomberg to live stream the U.S. Presidential debates.
Here’s what we know: at this day and age when cord-cutting is the trend, Disney stands to greatly benefit from Twitter’s massive audience reach.
“It’s a video distribution play,” said James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. “What Disney has to think about is what is its place in a post cord-cutting world. They are investing in technology for distribution — and this would give them the platform to reach audiences around the world.”
Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger has been known to make some bold moves such as the $7.4 billion acquisition of animation studio Pixar in 2006 which he made just months after he got the position.
Earlier this year, Iger met with Twitter’s senior management. According to Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, Iger talked about how making bold decisions has helped Disney recover from a declining business. Iger is said to be one of Dorsey’s mentors, and it seems the boldness may be rubbing off and Twitter is getting ready to take the necessary steps to keep the company afloat.
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