Byte Dance “Digs” Disney Executive, What is Zhang Yiming thinking?

On May 19, Beijing time, ByteDance and Disney announced that Kevin Mayer, Disney’s head of streaming, had joined ByteDance. From June 1, Mayer will be CEO of TikTok and will also be byteDance’s COO, reporting directly to ceo Zhang Yiming.

Mayer has previously been seen as one of the potential successors to former Disney CEO Bob Iger. In February, Bob Chapek, head of the theme park experience and product division, was named the next CEO, and Mayer lamented his “failure.” But Mayer said the decision to join ByteDance had nothing to do with missing out on the role of Disney CEO, but because TikTok, a fast-growing community, was “very excited.”

The man behind Disney Plus

From 2005 to 2017, Mayer served as Disney’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, responsible for corporate strategy, business development, and other divisions, driving Disney’s acquisition of Pixar Animation, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. “It was he who turned Princess Leia into a Disney princess, laying the groundwork for the expansion of the Marvel cinematic universe. Tech media androidcentral commented.

Mayer has also been responsible for Disney’s streaming services such as Hulu, ESPN Plus and Hotstar, as well as international operations, global content and advertising sales. He also facilitated disney’s acquisition of a stake in sports digital streaming BAMTech. BAMTech provides the technical impetus for ESPN plus and Disney Plus to accelerate the digitization and streaming of Disney’s media business.

In 2018, Mayer became Chairman of Disney’s Consumer and International Business, focusing on the development of the streaming service Disney Plus. Last year, officials said the content of Disney’s streaming service, which has 7,500 tv shows, 25 original episodes, 10 original movies and specials, as well as 400 old and 100 new films in recent years, plus espn plus Two Platforms, and Hulu, is a streaming service that is hard to reach.

Shortly after launch, Disney Has encountered a continuing outbreak. Affected by the outbreak, theme parks around the temporary closure, offline business, but at the same time, people’s entertainment consumption demand shifted to the line. On the evening of April 8, Disney announced that Disney’s latest subscribers had reached 50 million. Compared to the industry’s leading company, Netflix, it took seven years to complete the performance, and it took Disney to do just five months.

Mayer, who had previously been seen as one of the potential successors to former Disney CEO Bob Iger, ultimately lost his seat. But Mayer said the decision to join ByteDance had nothing to do with missing out on the role of Disney CEO. On joining ByteDance, he will be responsible specifically for ByteDance’s TikTok, Helo, Music, Gaming and other businesses, as well as byteDance’s global functions (excluding China), including corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, legal services, etc.

Byte Dance’s Worries

With Disney Plus, there’s also TikTok.

People downloaded TikTok 11 million times in March, almost twice as many as in December, according to Sensor Tower, an app data company. In the first quarter of this year, TikTok downloaded 307 million times, more than any other app in the world.

But TikTok is not without trouble. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that In 2018, Quito and TikTok generated more than $1 billion in global revenue for ByteDance. But according to people familiar with the matter, the profits have not been sustained. So ByteDance “digs” Mayer in the hope that he “gets more revenue from its millions of users, many of whom are teenagers with limited spending capacity.” “Mayer is well positioned to take the company’s product portfolio to new heights,” Zhang said in a statement.

As ByteDance’s most successful international product, TikTok is facing increasing regulatory resistance as it sits on the market. In November 2019, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) launched an investigation into ByteDance’s 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly, citing national security concerns. And in March, the U.S. Senate is preparing a bill to ban the use of TikTok by federal employees.

According to TechCrunch, Mayer was chosen by ByteDance for the top job, not only because of his success in streaming, but also because hiring a high-profile U.S. executive could partly address security concerns among U.S. politicians. In response to the controversy, TikTok responded: “The data of Us users is stored in the United States, and China has no jurisdiction over the data stored outside China.” “

According to the New York Times, TikTok has hired a group of U.S. executives and staff to manage the business and review the content of the app. TikTok, for example, last year brought Vanessa Pappas, a former YouTube executive, into his arm. ByteDance will set specific, specific rules for U.S. users, according to a blog post posted by Pappas in November. According to the New York Times, Mayer’s appointment will be an important link between TikTok and the parent company, and his dual role will help clarify the company’s understanding of overseas market regulation issues while also bringing byteDance’s beneficial experience in China abroad.

“TikTok told me that because company executives are in China, they can’t attend hearings,” Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who introduced legislation to ban federal employees from using TikTok, said on Twitter. But now the executive lives in the United States. “

TikTok is facing growing regulatory resistance while taking a slight hit.

“TikTok has created a creative, positive global online community that is a unique achievement for everyone. I’m excited to be part of byteDance’s next phase… I personally appreciate the tremendous achievements of the Disney team. For Mayer, there may be a “start again” excitement behind the rise from traditional giants to Internet upstarts, and he will face challenges from an Internet company in terms of user growth, product iterations and balancing local market growth.

For ByteDance, Mayer’s arrival comes at the right time, but it’s not without worry in terms of growth and regulation. Looking forward to bringing new experience to ByteDance, Mr Zhang said, “Kevin’s addition will give us his successful experience in the global business and help us continue to build a world-class management team.” We look forward to working with Kevin to continue to drive the company globally. “