Disney Nabs Slew of Kids, Family-aimed Web Sites

Disney has acquired a slew of kids and family-aimed Web sites from the Canadian media company Kaboose Inc. for $18.4 million.
The deal effectively marks the end of Kaboose Inc., 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 Limited.
From Disney’s perspective, Kaboose’s Web sites provides the company 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 over 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 Disney Online’s global reach—since each draws some of its audience from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Plus the Kaboose portfolio should help Disney with advertisers looking to reach moms; Kaboose’s sites currently feature ads for brands such Delta, Wal-Mart, and Disney’s own 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.