What Is an Entertainment Company in 2021 and Why Does the Answer Matter?

Historically, we defined an entertainment company around its core offering. Marvel was a comic book company, Mattel a toy company, ESPN a sports network, etc. When people think of the classic Disney flywheel — which Walt himself devised in the 1950s and which is the current obsession of every Hollywood executive today — they typically misremember the center of this flywheel as “IP”. It was actually “Creative Talent of Studio / Theatrical Films”. Even Walt described Disney as a movie company.

At its core, an entertainment business does only three things:

  1. Create/tell stories

  2. Build love for those stories

  3. Monetize that love