In Q1 2023, PARQOR will be focusing on four trends. This essay focuses on the trend, "The definition of scarcity is continuously evolving away from linear. What happens next?”
There is another reason to listen to Disney CEO Robert Iger’s interview on Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z podcast (I offered one last week). After being asked by co-host Sonal Chokshi about whether he ever had “concerns or doubts or fears about being able to shore up on the technology side” before building Disney Plus in 2017, Iger responded:
“Reed Hastings from Netflix tried to convince me that there was no way we could do it. ‘You won't have the platform. You don’t know how to manage things like busted credit cards, all the issues with geotargeting and so many different factors.’ We had no ability to do any of that.”
This story adds some history that neither Iger nor Hastings appears to have shared before — it was not in Iger’s autobiography, “Ride of a Lifetime” nor in Hastings’ “No Rules Rules”. I think it is significant because Hastings was ultimately asking questions about scarcity: If Disney cannot figure out the software then why will people subscribe? How will Disney grow and maintain the scale that advertisers want to buy and investors want to own?
Digital media, and now streaming, continue to find new and innovative ways of fragmenting the scarcity of audiences. Does Disney, Netflix or NBCUniversal's Peacock have the best solution for aggregating these audiences?
Total words: 1,800
Total time reading: 7 minutes
Scarcity is the linear distribution model’s historical moat — the linear model enabled multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to aggregate millions of households locally, regionally and later nationally. It has similar business logic to the circulation model of the print ...