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Opinion
Tara Lachapelle

Meet Disney+, the Company Formerly Known as Walt Disney Co.

Think of it now as a streaming giant, plus some other stuff.

Never has "+" meant so much as it does for Disney now.

Never has "+" meant so much as it does for Disney now.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

When Disney+ launched one year ago today, the name hinted at a potential shortcoming: “Plus” implied that the streaming app was merely an appendage to something more prominent. There was core Disney, tried and true, and then tucked into an obscure division called “Direct-to-Consumer and International” — the last rung of its income statement — was the cash-burning Disney+.

Covid-19 changed all that. As the pandemic continues to bludgeon Walt Disney Co., what were formerly its most important businesses — theme parks, cruises, theatrical films, cable networks — have moved to the other side of that plus sign. Now, the company can be thought of as Disney, a streaming giant, plus some other stuff.