Iger is friendly with technology
Touts importance of digital products, revenue for DisDisney isn't considering an acquisition of Yahoo or AOL, and a sale of Yahoo to Microsoft would present an opportunity rather than a challenge for Disney, CEO Robert Iger said Wednesday.
If online players like Google are stronger, "they create value for us," he said in a keynote appearance that opened the 2008 Media Summit New York. "And we look at making that process better, whether (by) giving them access to video or other features."
Iger again emphasized that overall, technology is a friend for content players rather than a foe, and he reiterated that Disney's digital revenue this year will grow from $750 million to $1 billion.
On a lighter note, Iger said that he has a Facebook page, but only two friends. He feels that it is important for industry executives to experience popular technologies and digital products, he said.
The CEO added that he feels "extremely fortunate" to have Apple CEO and Pixar boss Steve Jobs on Disney's board. But asked whether Jobs would take the reins at Disney after him, Iger said, "I haven't asked him." He added that Jobs also "hasn't expressed any desire" to run the company.
Iger also lauded Pixar for having exceeded his expectations creatively and financially since Disney acquired the studio.
Asked about Disney's film and TV download deal with Apple, Iger said his company has sold more than 4 million movies and 40 million-50 million TV show episodes to date. Most of this is incremental business rather than cannibalization of TV viewing or DVD sales, he said.
Iger said Disney will continue to roll out online social networks to increase consumer engagement with key franchises like "Pirates of the Caribbean," reiterating his intention to launch a "Cars"-related virtual world, Radiator Springs, as well as a similar offering for "Fairies."