When Bob Iger, Walt Disney’s Chairman and CEO announced that the company would be making a significant strategic shift in August this year, few might have imagined that this shift would include making the world’s premier premium content company even bigger, but that is exactly what has happened. Embedded in Disney’s decision to launch its own Disney and ESPN branded SVOD services was a message to all other premium media content operators: Get Big or Get Out, because scale and breadth of content are set to become important comparative advantages in a world where some of the biggest corporations on the planet including Apple, Amazon and Alphabet are leveraging their global reach to enter the premium video content development market. Iger’s announcement meant that Rupert Murdoch and 21st Century Fox were suddenly under pressure to develop their own global online content distribution strategy. Previously it might have been possible for Hulu, a joint venture between established media players, Fox, Disney, NBC and Time Warner to become the natural SVOD alternative to Netflix, given the vast amount of premium content that these companies have at their disposal. But Iger’s strategic shift called this into question, not only was Disney going it alone, but they also retained a strategic stake in Hulu, which might prevent Fox from using Hulu as their content delivery vehicle and in any event Hulu is US focussed and a competitor with global reach to take on Netflix was required. After examining their…

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