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Disney CEO lays out early plan for digital future

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

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

Chapek described Disney’s imaginative and prescient for the metaverse as “next-generation storytelling.” He needs to make use of knowledge 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 completely a way of life,” he informed Reuters on Sunday in an interview on the conference in Anaheim, Calif. “The query is, how is our next-gen storytelling leveraging what we find out about a visitor uniquely on this Disney way of life, then serving up distinctive experiences.”

Leisure and expertise corporations rushed to safe a place within the metaverse after Meta Platforms Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the way forward for his firm can be dedicated to creating a strong, three-dimensional, persisitent setting the place customers’ digital avatars would work, hang around and pursue their hobbies.

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

Uncover the tales of your curiosity

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

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

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

“This may very well be an actual huge catalyst for what is going on to point out up there and, you understand, 5 to 10 years,” mentioned Chapek.

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