Disney +: the upset fairy tale: episode 4/4 of the Tech Crisis podcast: the headlong rush

When we are told about studios, the United States and globalization, it’s a safe bet that a certain castle – or a certain mouse – appears in our minds, in short, that we think of Walt Disney. This symbolic institution of American cultural hegemony could not stand idly by in the age of streaming and the growth of Netflix and other SVoD platforms. Since 2019, therefore, the American firm has been able to count on Disney+ to promote the content of its studios, but also to broadcast everything that the brand has brought back to its fold, in particular the films and series of the Star Wars saga, as well as the adventures of the marvel superheroes.

Disney+ has already passed Netflix in number of subscribers and the VOD channel does not intend to stop there. Blockbuster, partnerships and local productions… the American giant is multiplying its strategies to establish itself in a highly competitive sector, with the Asian market and its millions of consumers in particular in its sights. An ambition that requires compromises, even adapting its values ​​to the time and dealing with “the French cultural exception” or even with Chinese censorship, among other examples. At home, the company is trying to show a new, more inclusive face, even if it means turning conservative minds around. The Disney+ exercise sums up well the way in which American soft power is being updated.

Julie Gacon receives Arnaud Tomasinicultural journalist, editor-in-chief of comicsblog.fr and host of the First Print podcast as well as Nasturtium Cousinjournalist at Agefi (the Economic and Financial Agency).

Disney carries very Western and very American values. By favoring more inclusive content, the group seeks above all to increase turnover on American soil than to attract foreign viewers. If we look at the successes of Black Panther or Captain Marvel, for example, we can clearly see that certain countries ban these Marvel films for reasons of representation of homosexual people. The expansion of Disney + in the world therefore has its limits, the firm will not be able to monopolize all the international markets and in particular that of China where all the last broadcasts of Marvel Studio have not had the right to broadcast. ..”, observed Arnaud Tomasini.

A subject has stirred the United States a lot this year: a law pushed by Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, where Disney has a large amusement park, opposing sexual orientation issues being addressed in schools. At the beginning of the year, Disney had not taken a position on this subject, which annoyed many of its employees because it is a company which is traditionally open to these new societal subjects and in particular supposed to be LGBT-friendly because it has a certain number of LGBT employees. And finally, the management took a stand opposing this law and its favorable administrative status for its amusement park in Florida was removed. This example shows that Disney is supposed to be pretty forward thinking about today’s societal topics “, note Nasturtium Cousin.

For further :

Capucine Cousin is the author of

Netflix & Cie: Behind the scenes of a (r)evolution published by Dunod editions in 2018.

Second part: the focus of the day

Salto, Netflix “made in France”: a story of disillusion… or not!

The homepage of the French online streaming platform Salto
The homepage of the French online streaming platform Salto

Two years after its launch, the French video-on-demand platform Salto is for sale. However, the ambitions of its 3 shareholders, France Télévisions, M6 and TF1, were high when it was launched in 2020, namely to compete with the 2 million subscriptions to Disney+ or the 10 million to Netflix among French consumers. Betting on the “best of French creation” (according to the promotion) and betting on popular content, these are the specificities of the platform. So, Salto, is it a failure or not?

With Marina Alcaraztech-media journalist at Les Echos.

The initial ambition was, in the words of the director of France Télévisions, Delphine Ernotte, of “create a French audiovisual team”. For the first time in a long time, we have seen the major players in French television join forces: TF1, M6 and France Télévisions, with the idea of ​​offering the best of creation French.“, Explain Marina Alcaraz.

Sound & musical references

  • Bob Iger’s first public meeting with Disney employees, in which he steps back from the company’s most controversial political positions and moves toward culture war neutrality, Nov. 29, 2022
  • Mix of extracts from Snow White (Disney), Toy story (Pixar), Star wars (Lucasfilm), The Simpsons (21st Century Fox), Black Panther (Marvel)
  • Salto promotional video
  • Boards of Canada Dayvan cowboy
  • Disney time (2006) by Jarvis Cocker (Singer of the British band ‘Pulp’)

A program prepared by Jules Crétois and Julie Ducos.

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Disney +: the upset fairy tale: episode 4/4 of the Tech Crisis podcast: the headlong rush

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