Disney Eyeing Twitter Takeover

Disney Eyeing Twitter Takeover
Stephen Yagielowicz

LOS ANGELES — In a move that may adversely impact the promotional efforts of adult entertainers and marketers alike, as well as fans’ access to their favorite performers, family-friendly megabrand Disney is reportedly considering the acquisition of social media powerhouse Twitter.

According to a TechCrunch report, Disney is working with bankers to determine the deal’s feasibility and to set a price for the company that has a market cap approaching $20B.

“Disney, which owns media properties [such as] ESPN and ABC, is hoping that the social media platform could amplify their reach. Twitter has also been dabbling in content partnerships, including one with the NFL,” the report explains. “Successful implementation of these partnerships could also prove to be beneficial to a media conglomerate [such as] Disney.”

The report states that Twitter’s Periscope live streaming platform and its social media integration have drawn interest from potential suitors — but its more controversial content could prove problematic for publically held companies.

“Ultimately, this combination would be about re-imagining distribution platforms and building a long-term vision for a real-time content powerhouse,” the report states. “As a distributor of news and commentary platform, Twitter’s strengths lie in at least some amount of agnosticism when it comes to media companies. How having it owned by one of the largest content businesses on the planet would affect that efficacy is doubtless a part of these discussions.”

“Twitter may give [Disney] an opportunity to communicate directly with their customers in an increasingly fragmented media landscape,” adds Bloomberg’s Paul Sweeney.

Premier social media strategist Lauren MacEwen told XBIZ that Disney has been looking for a video content delivery platform and that Twitter could be that platform, although it is unlikely without a massive overhaul.

“Disney is apparently wanting to reach the ‘un-corded,’ a.k.a. ‘mobile’ internet audience,” MacEwen explains. “Twitter is the ideal platform for that as more than 80 percent of Twitter users are on mobile devices.”

Still, the deal is not necessarily a match made in heaven for the family-friendly company and the unruly social media landscape.

“I think they would be less interested because of the adult nature of it, but they are also heavily involved in sports and other non-family based entertainment,” MacEwen concluded, offering an intriguing insight on one of the story’s nuances. “I would be surprised if Disney is truly interested and wonder if Dorsey — as he is a Disney board member as well as Twitter CEO —  is using this as leverage for another contender such as Salesforce or Google.”

Regardless of how the story plays out, the adult industry and its many millions of fans, will be watching closely.

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