The ownership of intellectual property (IP) can be an unbelievable asset for a media business. When I think about Disney, which is obviously going through some turmoil right now, I can’t help but remain bullish on the brand for the longterm specifically because of all the valuable IP that it owns. I don’t see why anyone would want to bet against Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and its suite of children’s material, and the good old fashioned Mickey Mouse.
Owning that IP is extremely powerful. In 1996, Warren Buffett said this about Disney and its IP: “…it’s kind of nice to be able to recycle Snow White every seven or eight years. You hit a different crowd. And it’s kind of like having an oil field, you know, where you pump out all the oil and sell it. And then it all seeps back in over seven or eight years.” The reality is, if you create something, you should be able to monetize it consistently over the long-term.