NEW YORK Disney has unveiled DisneyXD.com, the Web companion to its rebranded cable network for boys, Disney XD, which replaces Toon Disney. The new site extends what was a social networking section of Disney.com into a full-fledged Web destination of its own.
Originally launched in 2007, XD was part of a major overhaul of Disney.com undertaken in the past few years. The XD platform enabled users to create profiles, chat and mix-and-match their favorite content via a set of widgets. Now, as Disney morphs the former Toon Disney net into Disney XD, the online franchise -- which will have an edgier boy-centric personality -- becomes a core Web brand.
“We took the XD engine and essentially deconstructed it,” said Paul Yanover, evp and general manager, Disney Online. “Instead of putting it behind one door [on Disney.com], now it gets its own site.”
The venue's debut coincides with the Feb. 13 TV premiere of the live-action series Aaron Stone, which users will also be able to stream online and via mobile devices.
The new DisneyXD.com attempts to blend elements of Facebook and virtual worlds. Users can create avatars, establish profiles and accrue virtual goods by earning points. Those points are accumulated by playing games -- another big focus of XD -- watching videos and consuming other forms of content on the site. Advertisers can also provide points by creating branded virtual goods. The destination also debuts with a new XD-branded blog. “There is a very strong emphasis on community,” said Yanover.
To date, Lego, Pokémon and General Mills have signed on to sponsor DisneyXD.com, according to Brad Davis, Disney Online’s svp, online ad sales.