Is Google a Threat to Disney?

Robert A. Iger, chief executive of The Walt Disney Company, said he doesn’t see Google as a threat to the media and entertainment company.

“They typically need our stuff in some form. They want an association [with us],” Iger said, responding to a question posed to him today at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit.

He said Google delivers value to Disney. “When they provide consumers with great search, search gives consumer access to Disney,” he said. That includes access to buying a Disney vacation package or learning more about Hannah Montana. “The [Google] platform being strong is good for us. Not bad,” he said, while speaking in a one-on-one interview with John Byrne, BusinessWeek executive editor.

Byrne asked Iger whether Disney has considered acquiring AOL. “No,” Iger said. “We don’t want to comment on specific acquisitions, even though I just did.”

Disney expects its revenue from digital media to reach $1 billion in 2008, up from $750 million last year. While he declined to disclose growth projections, Iger anticipates the increase will come from two places: “cannibalization” from other Disney businesses as well as new business, especially on the international front. The company is rolling out in the U.K. and Japan, and has plans for China, Australia, Germany, France, and Italy.

Iger anticipates computers connected to high-speed Internet access will become youth’s primary source of entertainment in coming years. Disney expects revenue will come from multiple sources: subscription services, direct sales, video on demand, and advertising.

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