Could We Soon See a Disney-Owned Twitter?

It can sometimes be easy to forget that everyone's favourite Nazi-sympathiser's film studio is actually such a hulking multi-media conglomerate. As well as Marvel, Lucasfilm, Hollywood Records, ABC and ESPN, they also own 20% of Vice, the controlling stake of YouTube network Maker Studios and 30% of Hulu. That in mind, I think it's fair to say that they have a vested interest in online media.

The idea of a Disney-run social network has been banded about before, but as you might have already figured out, Disney are more in the habit of monopolising pre-existing things than making their own from scratch. When you think about it in that way, it makes almost perfect sense that they'd go after Twitter.

Although all the recent updates and changes Twitter have made have been hugely beneficial, they're still in financial turmoil. Talk of who might swoop in and snag them has been blustering back and forth for well over a year now, but Disney seem like perhaps the most viable candidate yet to emerge. They're currently in talks with a financial team, trying to hammer out a bid which will be fair/attractive enough to win Dorsey and co. over.

The key-word here is live-streaming. With their deals with the NFL, MLB, NHL, Bloomsburg and others, Twitter are way ahead, and it's something Disney are extremely keen to expand on, especially given their ownership of ABC and ESPN. This, of course, also pushes Twitter's value up, and estimates fall somewhere around an eye-melting $30 billion.

That could well be beyond Disney's price range, and they would have to fend off some seriously heavyweight competitors, including Verizon, Apple, Google and News Corp. Most of that is just grist from the rumour mill at present, but it gives you an idea of the magnitude of headbutting that will happen if/when bidding on Twitter actually opens up.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that this might never happen. Twitter's ad revenue is a big problem, and any company, however colossal, is going to be looking for a major return on investment if they do drop such a morbidly obese cheque to lay claim to Twitter. It's not as if, post-purchase, Twitter will just carry on as was, it's a fixer-upper, so the purchase price is only the tip of the iceberg.

If a bidding battle does start, the most likely front runners are going to be Google, Salesforce, Comcast and arguably Apple, but, of course, Twitter have to actually agree to the terms laid out in the bids, and in the past they've never done that. Financial woes or no, they may still decide that they're not for sale.

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