Should Apple buy Disney?

Marketwatch commentator Conor Sen makes an interesting proposal, Steve Jobs should take Apple’s massive cash holdings and purchase The Walt Disney Company.

What should it buy? Increasingly, Apple is moving away from computing and toward the intersection of computing, communications, and media delivery. That’s Steve Job’s vision of a post-PC world, and his company is already world-class at computing, communications, and media delivery. The missing piece of the puzzle, of course, is content.

Yes, Disney is a content company. But the ironic thing is that Disney, under Bob Iger’s lead (and probably Steve Job’s tutelage) has been moving to become more of a product company tool (as in the content drives merchandise and other sales). Sen also makes the bold claim that Steve Jobs is the Walt Disney of today.

What are your thoughts? Would you still love Disney if it had a ‘made by Apple’ sticker on it?

(via MarketWatch)

25 thoughts on “Should Apple buy Disney?”

  1. “Sen also makes the bold claim that Steve Jobs is the Walt Disney of today” – well, that´s all I need to know about that guys mental health…

  2. Both Apple and Disney sell overpriced stuff of horrible quality – the difference is that Disney also has a lot of *great* products – how would Apple handle that problem?

  3. I’ve thought about this several times. It does make a certain sense seeing where Apple is heading, but in the end, Apple needs *all* the content providers to work with them and by buying Disney they become both a competitor and a distribution partner. Seems like a conflict and it seems like a business too far removed from Apple’s sweet spot.

    WRT to Steve being a modern day Disney, I think it’s fair to say he’s the closest you’re likely to find today, but he’s no Walt. Also, Walt was no Steve. They’re both singular examples of great leaders, but they’re not the same kind of person at all.

  4. Afterthought: Where is Michael Eisner when he´s needed? The guy made a lot of mistakes, but he saved Disney when he refused to merge Disney with companies like AOL, who would have used their inflated stock as a currency. Can you imagine where Disney would be today had they merged with AOL? Right! Apple wouold never pay cash for Disney, they would make a cash/stock deal – and I cannot imagine Disney would be stupid enough to accept Apple stock, anybody, even a Wall street analyst, can see that that apple is poisoned (sorry, I could not resist…)

  5. Where is Michael Eisner when we need him?? Well he’s the reason for all the crappy merchandise. This company has never SOLELY been about how much profit can we make. Eisner destroyed the quality of the product and in doing so, it starts to diminish the quality of the brand. Just look at the Disney Stores!! Once a great place to experience a little bit of magic in your own town, turned into a crapy Kmart version of Disney….and down the tubest that went. Someone needs to get back in there and refocus on what the company was intended for. Walt and Roy proved that you could have an awesoem brand, with quality merchandise WHILE making a profit. That’s how we got here today. I don’t think Apple’s intention would be that. Someone will realize there are several paths to a successful and profitable company, but it’s not Apple.

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  10. Sorry Amanda, but you are dead wrong about Eisner. He made the company what it is today. If not for Eisner, the company would be Comcast-Disney. There would be no Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney-Paris. Disney would not have Pixar if not for Eisner (remember, no matter that partnership was like when he left, he formed the partnership to start with). Sure, Eisner had his faults and after 20 years, it was time for new blood. But when looking back at the Eisner era with an unbiased point of view, he was very, very successful.

  11. I didn’t say he wasn’t succcessful at all, but I think he foused way too much on the crappy merchandise and expanding the company faster than it should have been. I think WITH Frank Wells, there was a wonderful balance and the company could have continued to be successful. I’m not saying he didn’t do amazing things for the company but unfortunately I think we no longer see the quality in the products that we once did. No more special celebrations, no more unique collectible products. Maybe he didn’t that by himself but he definitely started in that direction. The company needs a great balance of someone who retains the vision Walt had and someone who can secure the company financially. Remember when Iger said no more discounts?? Obviously there is a reason they are still needed.

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  13. NO NO NO! Even though Disney has strayed away from its original vision over the years, it has been, and always will be, an artistically-driven company. Something Apple ain’t.

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  17. This has rumored on an off for literally decades, but at one point it was the other way around…Disney buying Apple.

    I’m a big Apple user, and a big Disney fan and the companies would not be a good fit. Remember when AOL bought Time Warner? I could see Apple taking a stake in Disney to solidify the relatioship beyond Steve Jobs and help them get preferential treatment, but an aquisition. No way.

  18. Apple and Disney both are the best at what they do. Most companies copy Apples products and pale in comparison. Much like Universal and Dreamworks have tried to copy Disney. With that being said I do not think they should merge. Michael Eisner was great in the beginning, but he somehow lost his vision.

  19. “Most companies copy Apples products and pale in comparison” – that´s news to me. While I like the design of some Apple products, there is always a much cheaper and in many cases even better product on the market. It´s easy for the fast followers, because in a way, the do copy – but I, as a customer, am very happy with my mp3 player that does not look as good as an ipod, but has more storage space, runs considerably longer and cost about a third of what an ipod would have cost me.

  20. Why would Apple need to buy Disney to get the content? Disney is already way out in front of the other studios working with Apple to provide digital content in every possible way Apple asks for it. Disney/Apple are already “merged without merging”, as Eric Schmidt once (falsely) suggested about Google/Apple. (Boo! Hiss!) But with Disney, the proof seems to be in the pudding.


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