LOS ANGELES - The Walt Disney Co. expects to collect $1 billion in revenue from online content this fiscal year, a significant rise from estimates for fiscal 2007, CEO Robert Iger said Monday.
Iger told analysts the company has been "fairly aggressive" in expanding onto the Internet to extend consumer contact with its most popular franchises and create new revenue streams.
"If we're not there, [people] will just access someone else's content," he said in comments webcast from Bear Stearns' 21st annual Media Conference in Palm Beach.
Disney's online revenue came from advertising during its ABC network hits such as Lost and Grey's Anatomy that are rerun on ABC.com; ads on sites such as ESPN.com; subscriptions to online games; downloads of movies and music; and e-commerce that is not related to its theme parks.
Online sources account for less than 3 percent of company revenue. Disney posted total net income of $4.7 billion on $35.5 billion in revenue last year.
The last time the company estimated digital revenue was in June 2007, when Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs said he expected the company to post more than $700 million for fiscal 2007, which ended in September.
The company does not break out online revenue in its quarterly earnings releases.
Last month, Disney announced it had created a special studio to develop short-form dramatic and comedy series exclusively for broadcast on ABC.com and Google's YouTube.