Speaking at Vox Media’s Code Conference on Wednesday, Iger said the revelations led Disney to lower Twitter’s estimated value.
Twitter has long said that spam accounts make up less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users. Musk argues that Twitter likely underreports the true share of spam accounts. Twitter defended the estimate and sued Musk to complete the transaction, claiming that it was looking for an excuse to get out of the deal, which Musk now considers overvalued.
Musk initially said he wanted to buy Twitter to “beat spambots” and keep the social network a trusted platform for democracy, but Iger and Disney were very skeptical about the potential acquisition. They had different purposes.
Disney had been considering Twitter as a distribution channel for entertainment content, Iger said Wednesday, adding that it was a “wonderful solution” for Disney and that negotiations between the two companies were nearly complete. Disney decided it wasn’t ready to moderate a freewheeling platform like Twitter or tie it so closely to Disney’s brand.
Iger stressed how much due diligence Disney did when considering a deal with Twitter, saying the company “looks very closely” at the issue of fake accounts.
“At that point, with the help of Twitter, we estimated that a significant but not majority portion was not real,” Iger said. But it was built into our economics, and the deals we made were actually pretty cheap.”
During a discussion at the Code conference, Iger, one of the most important figures in Hollywood history, also touched on the entertainment industry. He presented a dire prediction for the film industry. That said, the theater industry may never return to its pre-pandemic heights.
“I think the scars that the film industry suffered actually started with Covid and was exacerbated or accelerated by Covid and became permanent scars,” Iger said. I don’t think we’ll ever return to pre-pandemic levels.”
Iger’s reason for this was that there is too much competition and choice right now.
“[Consumers] They’ve learned to find shows they love. They love the flexibility it gives them in terms of time and it replaces watching movies,” he said. I’m here. I love big movies. I like to go to the theater and see it in a basically communal experience with a lot of other people who go out of their homes. “