YouTube just scored a huge coup in its quest for big league content credibility–instead of say, Charlie–by launching a new content partnership with Disney. Under the terms of the deal Disney will produce dozens of online shows for YouTube as well as share some of its network programming.
The New York Times has more:
Disney Interactive has been losing money — over $300 million in the last four quarters — and Mr. Pitaro, part of a new leadership team at the division, is under pressure to create Web videos that can be monetized quickly. Disney.com’s traffic has also been dropping at an alarming rate. Unique visitors totaled 12.7 million in September, down from 17.9 million in June, according to the measurement company comScore. Seasonality does affect traffic to some degree.
YouTube hopes to gain something from the Disney brand as well, namely credibility among parents, many of whom aren’t thrilled at setting their younger children loose on a site where the videos can be ragged and provocative and the comments even more so. The company wants to compete with cable television for ad dollars by adding more professional videos.
Teaming with a Hollywood heavyweight significantly advances that goal. Studios have been reticent to provide Google with free Web material.
Disney’s first show for YouTube will be called “Where’s My Water?” about an alligator named Swampy. We’ll see if kids these days have the attention span to get through it. Unless Swampy’s adventures last 30-45 seconds per episode.