YouTube definitely isn't goofing around when it comes to these new high-wattage channels. Today, YouTube and Disney announced that they would combine forces to produce original content, a move that benefits both brands. Disney needs the extra viewers and revenue, and YouTube needs a boost to its reputation as a destination for kids. We talked about one of these Disney web series last week, Where's My Water?, the popular iPhone app starring Swampy the Alligator, is set to be one of the series in which Disney and YouTube partner.
YouTube And Disney Partner, Both Parties Benefit
The two heavy-hitters in entertainment will spend somewhere around $10-15 million to create original web series, and they are shooting to have 8 original series going at any one time. Also, amateur content will be selected to go on the co-branded channel. I'm guessing it will be stuff like Lily's Disneyland Surprise!, which became a viral hit and might lead to Disney using it as one of their own commercials. No doubt other Disney-themed amateur videos will be a part of the new plans.
Disney.com's traffic dropped from 17.9 million in June to 12.7 million in September, which is a somewhat alarming figure, but I have a feeling that Disney's June release of Cars 2 was responsible in some part for that 17.9 million and after the buzz died down they lost some visitors. What is stressing Disney is the loss of $300 million by Disney Interactive over the last year. Thus, creating content that can be monetized on YouTube and then can be embedded on their own site probably seems like a good idea.
The goal is to get a new, revamped Disney.com up for next year, and then hopefully their content connects. Disney gives YouTube a premium brand that is kid-friendly, something that YouTube needs since parents justifiably worry about their children being exposed to some rough language in the videos and those dreaded comments.
The new, revamped Disney.com is set to relaunch in the Fall of 2012. No doubt until then, we'll start seeing original series like Where's My Water? pop up on the Disney YouTube channel until then.