Nov 20, 2019

Disney+ looks upward, beyond glitches

Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Disney+ streaming service's launch was met with technical issues, compromised passwords and a whole lot of demand.

What's next: The company is looking forward, not back, with a top executive saying that the company won't rely as heavily on data as rival Netflix did in building its service or creating its content.

  • "We might have great, creative ideas that don’t fit right into where the data would point you to make a program, so we’re going to use both our judgment or the ideas we have in place, the capacities that we have in place and the data that tells us what to make," Kevin Mayer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at Disney, said in an interview at Code Media on Tuesday.

Yes, but: Mayer did concede that Disney needed to invest more in its technology in order to make its product as functional as Netflix for users. He said that he thinks that Disney will be able to match Netflix's engineering capabilities in a couple of years.

  • He also noted for the first time publicly that the company is in the process of uniting its two separate pieces of platform tech — BAMTech (which powers ESPN+ and Disney+) and Hulu's tech — to create one unified tech platform for all of Disney's streaming platforms.
  • "We're going to take a harmonized platform approach at some point," he said. "There's nothing to announce, but it's something we're talking about."

The bottom line: Disney has a lot riding on Disney+, and the company wants to reach 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024.

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China approves Hong Kong national security law

Hong Kong riot police round up a group of protesters during a demonstration on Wednesday. Photo: Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chinese lawmakers approved a plan on Thursday for a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that would criminalize sedition, foreign influence and secession in the Asian financial hub.

Why it matters: China bypassed Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive to introduce the law, prompting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous from the Chinese mainland and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law. President Trump indicated Tuesday that he planned to announced further sanctions against China over the move.

Go deeper: Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

17 mins ago - World

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

A man died in a Minneapolis shooting during a second night of clashes between police and protesters in the city over the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody, per AP.

The latest: Police said officers were responding to reports of a stabbing just before 9:30 p.m. and found a man lying in "grave condition on the sidewalk" with a gunshot wound, CBS Minnesota reports. On man is in custody over the incident.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,695,968 — Total deaths: 355,701 — Total recoveries — 2,351,638Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,699,933 — Total deaths: 100,442 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy