Disney’s analysis of Twitter in connection with a potential 2016 acquisition led the entertainment giant to conclude that “substantial” numbers of accounts on the social media service were fake, according to former Disney CEO Bob Iger.
The revelation prompted Disney to lower its estimated value for Twitter, said Iger, speaking at Vox Media’s Code Conference on Wednesday.
Iger’s remarks quickly caught the attention Elon Musk, who has made the prevalence of spam accounts a central argument for why he should be allowed to back out of an agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Iger’s remarks were discussed in a post, to which Musk tweeted: “Interesting.”
Twitter has long claimed that less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users are spam accounts. According to Musk, Twitter likely underreports the actual number of spam accounts. Twitter has defended its projections and sued Musk to close the deal, alleging the billionaire is seeking a pretext to back out of a deal that he now believes to be overvalued.
Iger and Disney had quite different objectives for a potential acquisition, despite Musk’s earlier claims that he intended to buy Twitter to “fight the spam bots” and make sure the social network remained a reliable platform for democracy.
Iger claimed on Wednesday that Twitter had been considered by Disney as a potential outlet for the distribution of entertainment content. He said that this would have been a “phenomenal solution” for Disney and that the two businesses were extremely close to reaching an agreement. Iger ultimately came to the conclusion that Disney was ill-equipped to control a platform as unrestrained as Twitter or to have its name so closely associated with it.
Iger remarked, “Of course, you have to look at all the hate speech and its ability to cause as much harm as good.” “Even though some people today criticise Disney for doing the opposite, which is incorrect, we’re in the business of creating fun at Disney. Simply said, this was something that we were not prepared to take on. As the CEO of a firm, I was also not prepared to take on this responsibility.”
Iger emphasised the thoroughness of the research Disney did before considering a partnership with Twitter by stating that the business did “look very thoroughly” at the problem of phoney accounts.
Iger claimed, “We at that point estimated, with some assistance from Twitter, that a large portion — not a majority — were not real. “I can’t recall the exact figure, but we significantly undervalued the asset But that was a part of our economics all along. The purchase we made was actually quite affordable.”
Iger, one of the most significant people in Hollywood history, spoke about the entertainment sector during the Code Conference discussion. He made a grim prognosis for the film industry, saying that it might never reach its pre-pandemic heights.
Iger stated, “I believe the wound that the moviegoing industries has experienced, which really began with Covid, and it was aggravated or hurried by Covid, resulted in a lasting scar.” In terms of moviegoing, “I don’t think movies ever recover to the level that they were at pre-pandemic.”
Iger said that there is currently an excessive amount of competition and choice.
“[Consumers] learnt to locate television programmes they enjoy… They prefer it to going to the movies since it affords them more time flexibility, “added said. “The act of watching movies remains unchanged. I have a strong belief in movies. I enjoy large-scale films. I enjoy going to the movies and spending time there with lots of other individuals who are also leaving the house. That persists but doesn’t return to where it was.”