Disney Plans To Spend Over $45 Billion On Content Next Year

Disney Content Budget 2022

If you thought Netflix’s $22 billion content budget was excessive, the amount Disney has set aside for 2022 will definitely make your eyes water.

According to the Walt Disney Co. annual report filed with the SEC earlier this week, Mickey Mouse’s war chest has swelled to approximately US$33 billion / AU$45.8 billion. For context, this represents a whopping US$8 billion / AU$11.1 billion increase from the fiscal 2021 Disney content budget. But the extra ten figures won’t exactly be distributed amongst streaming programming, linear programming, and sports content in an even fashion.

“The increase is driven by higher spend to support our DTC expansion and generally assumes no significant disruptions to production due to COVID-19,” the company outlines in the aforementioned annual report.

Translation: this content boost is largely driven by streaming initiatives at Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, as opposed to linear TV or movies.

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As The Hollywood Reporter indicates, the multi-billion-dollar commitment to content may also be a result of sports rights, which are both incredibly expensive and long-term in nature; highlighting just “how high the stakes are” as entertainment companies transition towards direct-to-consumer.

“For comparison, Discovery CEO David Zaslav says that when his company merges with WarnerMedia, they plan to spend $20 billion on content in the first year,” explains Alex Weprin of THR.

“While Netflix is spending nearly $17 billion on content this year.”

Disney+ Day previewed the sheer amount of feature-length and episodic content was on the way in 2022. From the much-hyped Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series starring Ewan McGregor to Lightyear starring Chris Evans and whatever Marvel Cinematic Universe overseen by Kevin Feige churns out, suffice it to say, there’s a lot waiting around the corner.

Disney’s Studios division – i.e. Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, LucasFilm, Pixar, 20th Century Fox – is currently scheduled to drop some 50 titles for theatrical release and its associated platforms. The General Entertainment division – i.e. ABC, Disney TV, National Geographic, FX Productions – plans to produce + commission 60 unscripted shows, 30 comedy shows, 25 drama shows, 15 docuseries/limited series, 10 animated shows, plus five made-for-TV feature-length affairs.

Now I don’t want to hear anyone moaning “there’s nothing to watch” anytime in the next 18 months. Ya hear?