Disney Nabs Slew of Kids Web Sites

NEW YORK Disney has acquired a slew of kids and family-aimed Web sites from the Canadian media company Kaboose for $18.4 million.

The deal effectively marks the end of Kaboose, which had in recent years emerged as a modest independent competitor in the kids online arena. In addition to the Disney transaction, the company has reached an agreement to sell its U.K.-based businesses to Barclays Private Equity.

From Disney’s perspective, Kaboose’s Web sites provide the firm with some of the larger kids Web properties that are not tied to one of the major TV networks. Included in the purchase are the family-oriented Kaboose.com, which reaches more than 2 million unique users in the U.S., per Quantcast, along with the complementary sites Funschool.com, Zeeks.com, Babyzone.com and AmazingMoms.com. These sites in aggregate reach over 5 million monthly users, according to comScore.

The addition of these brands should provide a boost to Disney Online’s global reach since each draws some of its audience from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The Kaboose portfolio also should help Disney with advertisers looking to reach moms. Kaboose’s sites currently feature ads for brands such as Delta, Walmart, and Disney’s DVD business.

“These new Web properties complement Disney Online’s category-leading kids and family sites, broadening our audience and infusing an array of new content into our sites, particularly in the baby and mom categories,” said Paul Yanover, executive vp and managing director of Disney Online, which reached nearly 28 million unique users in February, per comScore.

Source: Mediaweek.com