Mickey Mouse goes digital as YouTube and Disney team up

YouTube and Disney Interactive, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., has announced that it is teaming up with YouTube to produce an original video series and feature “family-friendly” Disney programming on the popular video-sharing platform.

Disney Interactive and Google-owned YouTube said the programming will be available on Disney’s website and on YouTube. The companies also announced that the “complementary online video destinations” will launch in early 2012.

“Disney Interactive will produce and program the co-branded video destinations for both Disney.com and YouTube, providing a family friendly experience for viewers across both platforms,” Disney and YouTube said.

The programming will include original video from Disney, Disney Interactive original series, some Disney Channel programming and content created by Disney users.

The first project will launch in February and will be an original video series based on Disney’s mobile game “Where’s My Water?“.

“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,” Disney Interactive co-president Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

According to The New York Times, Disney Interactive and YouTube will spend a combined 10 to US$15-million on original video series.

The Times also reported that Disney Interactive has lost more than US$300-million in the last four financial quarters and described the deal as an acknowledgement by Disney that YouTube is a bigger draw for children looking for video online than Disney.com.

“It’s imperative to go where our audience is,” Pitaro told the Times.

The newspaper says Disney will sell advertising inventory and split the revenue with YouTube. — AFP



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