Nearly 100 Years Later, Disney Is Still The Most Valuable Media Brand

Colorado, USA - May 13, 2016: Studio shot of LEGO minifigure Mickey Mouse on top of a pile of money with other Disney characters in the background.
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In a world of social media giants and disruptive tech platforms, a film company started by Walt Disney and his brother in the 1920s is still the most valuable media brand of them all.

That’s according to Brand Finance, which has released its ‘Media 25’ list of the most valuable media brands in the world.

Disney edged out Netflix and Google-owned YouTube to take first place (note: the study measures the value of the brand as opposed to the value of the company), after experiencing a whopping 40 per cent brand value growth from 2018 to reach $US45.8 billion ($AUD65.8 billion).

The growth is largely attributed to the number of acquisitions Disney has made in the last 12 months, including Star India, a 60 per cent stake in Hulu, 21st Century Fox.

Disney now also holds the rights to box office hits Deadpool and the Marvel titles.

“These purchases have placed Disney in a strong position within the digital streaming media landscape,” says Brand Finance.

Disney’s ever-growing portfolio also sets up its streaming service Disney+ – which is expected to launch in Australia sometime next year – to be a genuine ‘Netflix-killer’.

With YouTube and Netflix taking out second and third place on the list respectively, and Chinese streaming options Youku and iQiyi featuring in the top 25 for the first time, it is clear that there is big money in streaming, says Brand Finance CEO David Haigh.

“Digital streaming platforms have revolutionised home entertainment, as they are better able to adapt to the needs of modern consumers seeking on-demand and advertising-free content,” Haigh said.

“As customer preferences evolve at a faster pace than ever, the new platforms will need to continue to build relationships with consumers to stay ahead of the curve.”

Audio streaming option Spotify also made the list for the first time.

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