Direct-to-customer streaming is now a focus for Disney, and today it took another step in organizing that business by announcing a new CTO for the Disney Streaming business unit that includes Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Star Plus. Jeremy Doig is a tech industry veteran with several decades of experience including stints with the BBC and Microsoft, and who has worked for Google for the last 18 years. Variety reports that Doig will take over for Joe Inzerillo, who helped build Disney Plus and joined SiriusXM earlier this year.
According to a press release announcing the hire, while there he worked on compression tech for audio and video and streaming protocols that are used for YouTube and Chrome. He’s also worked on spatial experiences and reportedly had a hand in leading Google’s Android VR efforts.
Doig will report to Disney Streaming president Michael Paull, who was just named to that position in January to have global oversight of the company’s various services. In the release, Paull said, “Jeremy is a true visionary that has sat at the forefront of making online video streaming possible in his nearly 30-year career at the intersection of technology and media, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Disney Streaming leadership team.”
Well before Disney Plus launched, and even before Disney acquired Fox and bought full control of Hulu, the company acquired baseball’s tech team BAMTech (Paull is its former CEO) to put together the platform it relies on. Despite a rocky first day or so for Disney Plus, that investment has paid off with a service that’s rapidly spreading to more countries, with features like individual profiles, 4K, and Dolby Vision HDR taken almost for granted.
Still, not all the services use the same technology, and Disney’s new leadership group may look to get Hulu and its other services better aligned. That’s before we consider any AR, VR, or metaverse considerations it may have planned for the future, the upcoming launch of an ad-supported version of Disney Plus, livestreaming, or gambling.