Yesterday Bloomberg reported that Disney is exploring the possibility of buying Twitter and adding it to the already huge pile of other corporations that they own. It’s early in the process—they’re just exploring the option—but it does feel like Disney is chasing specific pieces and that when they have the right combination of media, tech, and distribution companies they will succeed in assembling the Triforce.
The reason Twitter is maybe for sale is because participation in the platform has plateaued and stock prices are stagnant/dropping as a result and we live in a society where the pinnacle is not acceptable. It’s not enough to build something millions of people become dependent on as a source of news, entertainment, and communication, you have to keep growing it even though there is a finite number of people who have both the inclination and ability to participate with social media.
Plus there are several social media platforms now, each with their own distinct cultures that further subdivide the eligible social media base: Facebook is for people who still write holiday newsletters; Instagram is competitive scrapbooking; Tumblr is honor students who are also into art projects; Twitter is for people who like yelling at the news; and no one knows what the f*ck is Snapchat is about. But all of them create ad revenue, and media companies f*cking love ad revenue.
So the only thing you can do when you hit that plateau is merge with a larger corporation in order to create synergy and cross-pollinating multi-platform opportunities and other buzzwords, and no corporation is better at this than Disney. You know they own Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm, and ABC/ESPN, but they also have stakes in the A&E networks and Vice, and they’ve invested in tech companies like GoPro and Photobucket.
But probably most relevant to a potential Twitter acquisition is Disney’s stake in BAMTech, a streaming service built by Major League Baseball, which Disney bought into specifically to generate content for ESPN. It’s not hard to see them using Twitter in a similar way, to create exclusive portals for members-only content, thus creating a new advertising stream for them while driving participation for Twitter. If you thought Disney’s marketing was intense before, just wait if they own Twitter.