Disney Interactive and YouTube announced an agreement to create destinations for family-friendly video entertainment on both Disney.com and YouTube. The resulting content will go live in early 2012 and is part of Disney Interactive’s strategy to reach audiences wherever they are, even if they’re outside the Magic Kingdom walls of a Disney-controlled environment.
That doesn’t mean Disney is relaxing the standards that families around the world rely on, however. Disney Interactive will produce and program the co-branded video content channels for both Disney.com and YouTube, drawing from current Disney Interactive original series, select Disney Channel programming and specially created original Disney content, but in an interesting departure for the brand, it will also include carefully curated, relevant and kid-safe user generated content.
This new outlet’s first original video series will be based on the adventures of Swampy (pictured), the crocodilian star who debuted in Disney’s hit mobile game, Where’s My Water? in September, and is scheduled to launch in February.
“With online video consumption exploding and YouTube at the center of that trend, we see an opportunity for Disney Interactive and YouTube to bring Disney’s legacy of storytelling to a new generation of families and Disney enthusiasts on the platforms they prefer,” said Jimmy Pitaro, co-president of Disney Interactive. “As we prepare to re-launch Disney.com in fall 2012, the Disney/YouTube destination will play a critical part in our next generation platform.”
It could also be a way to reach audiences in today’s media landscape, where not even Disney can dominate family-friendly entertainment. Disney.com’s plummeting traffic reflects this – even allowing for the annual decline at the end of summer, it’s not good that comScore reports unique visitors totaled 12.7 million in September, down from 17.9 million in June.
Disney and YouTube have had a relationship since 2009, when Disney agreed to post ESPN sports highlights and clips from the ABC broadcast network and ABC Family cable channel on the site.
Wall Street Journal – http://tinyurl.com/6w9j5pw
New York Times – http://tinyurl.com/7ssbh4y