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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Imaginoppolis, Imagination Island
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    Default Disney Launches UK Kids Portal, Europe to Follow

    Disney Launches UK Kids Portal, Europe to Follow

    By Gavin Haycock
    December 6, 2007

    LONDON- Entertainment group Walt Disney's Internet arm said on Thursday it was about to launch a UK portal aimed at young adults showcasing its games, films, music and social networking assets in one British Web site.

    The Disney.co.uk Web site will launch on Monday and follows the launch of the concept in the United States earlier this year. Similar Web portal offerings will be launched in Europe.

    "We are looking to the continent not surprisingly so we will be looking to France, Italy, Germany and Spain for our next rollouts," said Cindy Rose, who heads Disney's Internet arm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as the group unveiled details of the new Web offering on Thursday at a briefing in London.

    The Disney site, like its U.S. predecessor, has at its heart a feature called Disney Extreme Digital, aimed at children that allows them to customize multi-media content simultaneously while watching and sharing videos, messages, music and games.
    Online parental protection measures are wrapped into the site as well as functionality that prompts children to use Disney-proposed online chat phrases that have an emphasis on being polite while also using language that can reflect whether the user is looking at content focused on pirates or princesses.
    The UK Web site will include what Disney describes as "snack-size" movie and television clips, podcasts and locally produced content alongside archived and new material.

    This is part of a strategy to focus developing online communities of fan bases, said Rose.
    Disney did not disclose how much it has spent on the portal.

    Rose said Disney was looking at mix of different business models to develop the UK Web site, which will carry advertising and sponsorship links - although none of that will be carried on the home page.

    She said these business models would include paid-for subscriptions and transaction-based services. The site will offer a shopping section for Disney products from its launch.
    The Disney Web site will not initially provide full-length feature films.

    "Is it coming? Some day," said Rose.
    The launch of Disney's own UK portal rather than seeking to actively leverage its brands in tandem with rival entertainment groups reflects how media companies are trying different approaches to protect and promote their intellectual property in a fragmented market.

    Britain's terrestrial broadcasters ITV, BBC Worldwide and Channel 4 unveiled details last week of a combined on-demand content service next year that will be available on the Web and then ultimately other platforms.
    John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the publicly funded broadcaster, said one reason he helped create the service was to try to stop television from facing the same problems as the music industry following the launch of Apple Inc's iTunes online music store.

    Disney's Rose said the company's management had opted to pursue a focused aggregation strategy at a time when there was an abundance of digital content available to consumers.

    "It doesn't make sense for us to aggregate our content with someone else's brand in a way that means all things to all people," she said.

    "There is a lot of noise and clutter in the market place. We think it makes sense to invest in our core brands," she added.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Beautiful Kelowna, BC
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    Here in Canada we can't see video content from Disney.com. So, the kids can't use the Disney Extreme Digital portion to it's fullest potential as some of the games require seeing a video. I wonder if there are any future plans to make video available to Canada? We are also excluded from watching any TV show broadcasts on ABC.com
    I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    I will have to go and have a look at the UK site now
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