Disney launches UK kids portal, Europe to follow

Disney launches UK kids portal, Europe to follow

London: Entertainment group Walt Disney’s Internet arm announced on 6 December its launch of a UK portal aimed at young adults showcasing its games, films, music and social networking assets in one British Web site.

“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 6 December 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 customise 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.

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.

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.