×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NewFronts: Disney Tees Up Online Shows, ‘Story’ App for Digital Families

Mouse’s interactive arm touts YouTube pact, 500 million cumulative Facebook fans

Disney Interactive is pouring more content into the digital hopper, announcing 10 new online original series and a forthcoming app, Story, designed to let parents share user-generated stories online.

Theme for Mouse House’s Digital Content NewFronts — part of the weeklong series of presentations to ad buyers in Gotham — was “the art of interactive storytelling.”

Jimmy Pitaro, co-president of Disney Interactive, boasted about the division’s deal with YouTube, which has generated more than 2 billion views to date with viewership up 263% year over year. He also noted that Disney pages on Facebook cumulatively have received more than 500 million “likes.”

“Our YouTube partnership has generated some of our biggest hits,” Pitaro said. That will grow as Disney continues to add more “high-quality content.” He called out two series that have hit big on YouTube: “Talking Friends,” based on apps of the same name, which has been viewed more than 130 million times; and “Swampy’s Underground Adventures,” which has 27 million views.

Series Disney previewed at the NewFronts include season 2 of “Swampy’s Underground Adventures,” starring animated alligator from popular Where’s My Water? game.

New kidvid skeins are: “It’s a Small World,” animated show based on the famous theme-park ride; “Digitales,” finger-puppet retellings of Disney classic films by kids; and “Blank: A Love Story,” featuring stop-motion versions of Vinylmation collectible toys based on Disney characters.

Two shows aimed at tweens and teens are “D’Fied,” weekly show highlighting Disney-inspired style and fashions; and “Stunt’d” mockumentary series following indie film crew as they shoot stunt scenes.

Mom-targeted series are: “Celebrity Pet Psychic,” featuring animal whisperer Sonya Fitzpatrick; “Making It Up,” how-to talkshow format hosted by Kerri Kenney-Silver; “That’s Fresh with Helen Cavallo” cooking show; and “Citizen Kid,” profiling kids who are active in their communities.

On music front, Piatro cited Disney’s deal with Vevo, announced in February, to create family-friended music destinations on Vevo and Disney.com. Disney also is prepping new Internet show “Unfiltered with Cole Plante,” which follows 16-year-old deejay Cole Plante as he gears up for Lollapalooza.

Pitaro also said Disney will launch a “fully sponsor-able” games vertical on Disney.com later this year.

With the Story app, to be released on Apple’s iTunes App Store next week, each member of the family can share video and photos in shareable “stories.” TV ads promoting Disney Story are skedded to begin airing next week.

“It’s designed to turn everyday moments trapped on our smartphones into beautiful stories,” Pitaro said, adding, “We think it’s a perfect sponsorship vehicle for families to tell their stories.”

On social, Disney Interactive can bring to bear bloggers at Babble Media, which it acquired in late 2011. Pitaro noted that Babble bloggers promoted DisneyBaby.com, driving site traffic to 1.5 million visitors less than four months after launch. Company is looking to launch Babble internationally, as well, with Latin America targeted for this fall.

“We can extend any brand message beyond boundaries of traditional advertising… extending to Babble’s bloggers,” Pitaro said.

Event was held at Times Square’s Edison Ballroom art-deco venue. To close it out, Disney brought on one-hit wonders Plain White T’s, which performed 2006 hit “Hey There Delilah” and two other lite-rock tunes.

Pitaro riffed on the newfront’s 9 a.m. start: “We wanted to include Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr., but they didn’t like the 5:30 a.m. call time.”

More Digital

  • Fortnite

    'Fortnite' Goes Dark: A Masterful Marketing Stroke by Epic Games

    On Sunday, “Fortnite” — the most popular game on Earth right now — without warning, imploded into darkness. At around 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 13, a meteor in Season 10 of “Fortnite” that had been biding its time set off a cataclysmic chain reaction that sucked up everything on the the island and eventually [...]

  • reddit-snapshat-sharing

    Reddit Adds Snapchat Sharing to Its iOS App

    In a first such integration with other social networks, Reddit has added an option to share content from its iOS app to Snapchat. iPhone users can now share Reddit posts with their contacts on Snapchat, or add Reddit content to their Snapchat stories. Anything shared on Snapchat includes a special Reddit sticker, and links back [...]

  • tubi kids

    Tubi to Launch Tubi Kids, U.K. Offshoot

    Ad-supported video streaming service Tubi is the latest to jump on the children’s entertainment bandwagon: Tubi is set to launch a dedicated kids section on Oct. 21, the company announced at Mipcom in Cannes Monday. Additionally, Tubi will also bring its service to the U.K. early next year. Tubi’s new kids section will offer access [...]

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Jay Frank

    Jay Frank, UMG Senior VP and Digital Music Veteran, Dies at 47

    Universal Music executive and digital music veteran Jay Frank died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 47. UMG chief Lucian Grainge remembered him in a message sent to the company. “Dear Colleagues,” it reads. “I’m deeply saddened to tell you that our colleague and friend Jay Frank has passed after a recurrence of [...]

  • Sam-Colby-The-Graveyard

    YouTube’s Sam and Colby Unveil ‘The Graveyard’ Paranormal Series Set in London

    Sam and Colby, YouTube’s favorite DIY paranormal investigators, headed to the U.K. for their next big ghost-hunting project. The duo today released the trailer for “The Graveyard,” a four-part docu-series shot in The Langham – by legend, London’s most haunted hotel – and an abandoned church graveyard. The project is their first international expedition. The [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content