Walt Disney CEO sketches out early plan for digital future – National & More News


Walt Disney Co DIS.N on Sunday sketched the contours of a plan for how the leisure, theme parks and shopper merchandise conglomerate will use expertise to boost storytelling for the following 100 years.

Speaking backstage on the firm’s biennial D23 Expo fan conference with Reuters, Chief Executive Bob Chapek took nice pains to keep away from what he referred to as the “M-word,” or metaverse, regardless of pushing the corporate in that route final yr.

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Chapek described Disney’s imaginative and prescient for the metaverse as “next-generation storytelling.” He desires to make use of information gleaned from theme park visits and shoppers’ streaming habits to ship customized leisure experiences, together with from the corporate’s Marvel and Lucasfilm studios.

“Disney is absolutely a lifestyle,” he instructed Reuters on Sunday in an interview on the conference in Anaheim, Calif. “The question is, how is our next-gen storytelling leveraging what we know about a guest uniquely in this Disney lifestyle, then serving up unique experiences.”

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Entertainment and expertise firms rushed to safe a place within the metaverse after Meta Platforms Inc META.O CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the future of his firm could be dedicated to creating a sturdy, three-dimensional, persisitent setting the place customers’ digital avatars would work, grasp out and pursue their hobbies.

Well forward of Meta’s announcement, Chapek, who oversaw the parks division earlier than taking excessive job in 2020, has spent years getting ready how one can prolong the theme park expertise to individuals who won’t ever go to one of many firm’s six theme parks globally.

Disney began laying the groundwork in earnest to discover new types of storytelling over the previous yr, because it appointed veteran media and tech govt, Mike White, to supervise the newly created Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences unit.

White has been charged with assembling the technological toolkit for Disney’s inventive executives to make use of.

Lara Insko, left, Rachael Keniry, heart, and Trevor Hoffman journey, “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

(Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register through Getty Images)

He has additionally been brainstorming concepts for utilizing augmented actuality and different applied sciences to convey a brand new dimension to storytelling. Chapek cited one early instance – an eight-minute augmented actuality movie that premiered this week on Disney+.

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“This could be a real big catalyst for what’s going to show up there and, you know, five to 10 years,” mentioned Chapek.

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Anaheim; modifying by Kenneth Li and Stephen Coates)


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