Disney and YouTube Partner for Branded Channel

Will feature original series and user content

Disney Interactive Media and YouTube are teaming up for a new co-branded channel that aims to combine the power of the Disney name with the popularity of the video-sharing site.

According to The New York Times, which first reported the deal, the companies are planning to spend $10 million to $15 million on original shorts that will be produced by Disney and distributed on the channel.

The first series to debut on the channel will be based on the hit puzzle app, Where’s My Water? After that, Disney hopes to have eight series constantly in production. The channel will also feature selected user content and clips from Disney television shows. Disney will sell the channel’s ad inventory and split the revenue with YouTube.

Each company is planning to benefit from its connection to the other. Disney, which has had trouble drawing kids to its own (soon-to-be-redesigned) website, is hoping that YouTube’s “cool” factor will help it appeal to a young audience. Meanwhile, YouTube is hoping to overcome its less-than-stellar reputation with parents by attaching itself to Disney’s trusted name, and with the site still in a spat with Nickelodeon owner Viacom, it could use some additional kid-friendly content.

Additionally, adding more professional content could help the site compete with cable channels for advertising dollars. “It’s an acknowledgment that we want to work with the best brands, and, yes, we expect this partnership to attract new advertisers,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s global head for content partnerships, told the Times.