updated 12:15 pm EDT, Thu June 2, 2011
Disney CEO discusses iCloud and iTunes
Disney head Bob Iger in his discussion at D9 said he wouldn't be on stage for Apple's iCloud unveiling. While he liked the idea of having a media locker as it got around storage limits, he gave a direct "no" to the idea he might show on June 6. The talk didn't rule out prospects of iCloud video lockers but cast doubt on there being a need for public support from a movie studio.
He continued that Disney wouldn't be tied to any one cloud system. iTunes was "quite successful" in pay-per-show, he said, but it was picked because of a "great" user experience. He implied Disney was reexamining its options and wouldn't necessarily focus on its own Keychest concept for media storage.
Despite Apple's Steve Jobs sitting on Disney's board of directors, the studio didn't play favorites and give iTunes special access. "We've not said yes to everything that Apple's wanted, and vice versa," Iger said.
Online content was still just the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of revenue, he clarified. The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie was about to crack $700 million dollars after just a couple of weeks, something iTunes or anyone else couldn't yet reach. Smartphones and tablets were going to be the key, according to the CEO, not just because of access in more places but in developing countries where the phone or the tablet may be the only way to get video.
Iger had comments on media as a whole. It was "too early to write 3D's epitaph," but Disney and others had to use 3D intelligently and on quality titles. He also saw interoperability and timely releases as a way to curb piracy by preventing frustration with unavailable or difficult-to-move content.