22 ENE 2021


This year’s NATPE Icono Award honored President of The Walt Disney Company in Latin America, Diego Lerner, who leads Disney’s international businesses in Latin America. Lerner discusses how the conglomerate has experienced success on a global scale.


This year’s Latin Summit and Icono award ceremony session during NATPE Miami 2021, hosted by Anna Carugati, honored President of The Walt Disney Company in Latin America, Diego Lerner, who leads Disney’s international businesses in Latin America. 

Lerner covered the challenges Disney has seen and the knowledge the company has obtained amid the pandemic. He said despite the company's streaming division growth, theater closures have greatly impacted theatrical windows and partners and continue to play a crucial role in the distribution of content. He explained that one of its most successful assets, Disney+, derived from a concept of a potential direct-to-consumer digital approach, which has been in development for almost a decade, according to Lerner, who attempted various digital model approaches in Europe before the launch. 

The company’s services are designed cost-effectively, according to the content the customer chooses to purchase. One of the qualities Lerner believes has driven the Disney+'s success is its cost-effective price point, allowing the content to be accessible to every economic class. However, he highlighted the main driver of the brand’s success as its ability to resonate with a general audience, not only kids.

Lerner noted that all of Disney’s announced premieres for 2021 will first launch on Disney+, and then be considered on a case-by-case scenario to potentially be released on Disney’s linear channels. The app will only offer first-party content as the company will not license from third-parties. Despite the ample amount of production hubs and viewership in Latin America, Lerner explained that not all of its LATAM releases were filmed in the region, such as Marvel’s “Avengers” and national geographics. On the contrary, others filmed in the region, such as “Violeta” made their way across the globe in 17 languages, with multiple franchises, venues, concerts, and consumer products.

The executive also touched base on the company’s FOX acquisition and Fox channels rebranding. The revamping of the outlets, which will be renamed star, was made in hopes of adding value to the service. It is currently considered the number one entertainment offer in LATAM, with hits such as “The Walking Dead” and “The Simpsons.” The company’s Star+ platform is also set to be released later on this year with additional genres such as sports.