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Bob Iger’s Lessons for Radio


Disney chief Bob Iger is on the cover of the new issue of Fortune, pictured in front of Star Wars’ legendary Millennium Falcon.

I can’t imagine a picture that could speak more loudly about content and branding and distribution and the role of fan passion in powering a media behemoth.

Highlights of the piece in The Wrap indicate three lessons that should be heard loud and clear by radio broadcasters:

1. Iger focuses on both content and technology

“There are a lot of companies that focus on content and lot of companies that focus on technology, but I think Disney is one of a few companies that do both equally,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said.

2. Iger recognizes that media is neither content nor technology alone, but is at the intersection of both – and the story is the common link

On his relationship with Apple’s Steve Jobs, who was on the Disney board:

“Occasionally we would stand in front of a whiteboard and talk about ideas. We’d just muse on business. When you think about it, media’s the intersection of content and technology — it’s all about storytelling, like photography and the camera. So we’d talk about that a lot, the intersection between the story and the gadget.”

3. When it comes to technology, get in early

2013 was the first year Disney’s independent interactive unit made profit, generating $116 million on approximately $1.3 billion in sales.

“If you’re going to win big, you have to get in early,” Iger said. “If you get in late, the marketplace is so dynamic and the technology’s changing so much that oftentimes you make an investment in something that you’ve witnessed working, but it’s on the cusp of vast change. We lost a fair amount of money in the process, but we learned from that.”

Experiments, risks – these remain and always will remain important components of your strategic toolkit.

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