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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Disney and Google Team Up

The Disney Company and Google, owner of YouTube, have formed a partnership whereby Disney will produce original videos which will be distributed on a co-branded channel on Disney.com and YouTube.  The channel will also include amateur videos from the thousands uploaded to YouTube on a daily basis.

Swampy and Friends in "Where's My Water?
Disney is aware that its own brand is not powerful enough to draw children (the partnerships main target audience) so in a reversal of its previous go-it-alone web strategy, Disney needs to partner with YouTube.  James Pitaro, Co-President of Disney Interactive, stated, "it's imperative to go where our audience is, we need to bring Disney's legacy of storytelling to a new generation of families on the platform they prefer."  The Disney website has been losing money - over $300 million in the last 12 months as traffic to its site decreased by 5.2 million visits in just the June to September period. - so
Disney management is acutely aware that it needs to create content that can be monetized quickly.

For YouTube, the benefit is to use the Disney brand to gain credibility in offering prime, professionally produced content which can compete with cable TV for ad dollars.  Teaming with a Hollywood studio advances that goal. Google's plan is to create dozens of web channels featuring comedians, sports stars, musicians, and other entertainers.  It is also offering cash advances to prospective producers that total more than $100 million, as Google believes the Internet is the third phase of the television business competing with network and cable TV.

Under the terms of the Disney/YouTube deal, Disney will produce the web videos series, the first of which will be "Where's My Water ?", featuring an alligator named Swampy. The goal is to have eight original series in production at any given time.

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