Google and Disney Interactive Media, a division of The Walt Disney Company charged with heading their interactive entertainment operations, are to announce a major deal today, spending millions of dollars to bring original Disney shorts to YouTube.
The New York Times has the story:
The deal, set to be announced on Monday, is small on its surface: Disney Interactive Media and YouTube, a division of Google, will spend a combined $10 million to $15 million on original video series; those shorts will be produced by Disney and distributed on a co-branded channel on Disney.com and YouTube. The channel will also include amateur video culled from the torrent uploaded to YouTube daily.
The channel will also stream amateur video and Disney television shows. The Mickey Mouse house will sell the advertising inventory and share some of the revenue with YouTube. The report does not outline the scope of the programming Disney is willing to put on YouTube free of charge as they also rely on the revenue from cable partners.
It will be the first time the media conglomerate would take advantage of the YouTube phenomenon, which they’ve been ignoring successfully in favor of their own online assets. By the way, Disney Interactive lost a cool $300 million in the last four quarters and a comScore-measured traffic to Disney.com dropped from 17.9 million in June to 12.7 million in September. The deal is also interesting because Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs was Disney’s largest individual shareholder.
That the media giant turned to Google is an indication of YouTube’s growing influence and the billions of eye balls glued to their screens can’t be wrong. The majority of YouTube views come from non-English audience, a Google spokesperson told GigaOM. The company is also rumored to launch a YouTube channel dedicated to the popular South Korean pop music (also known as K-Pop), chairman Eric Schmidt hinted in a Seoul meeting today.
Google’s media deals for YouTube come at a time when the company is attempting to re-new interest for a new version of Google TV, its software for set-top boxes aiming to enhance your TV with more Google services and Android apps. The company has been literally pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into content deals with Hollywood majors and independent filmmakers. The site also aired a bunch of interesting documentaries free, including ‘Life In A Day’ produced by the Scott brothers. They are also live streaming rock concerts, sport events and live performances, including major world events such as the Mecca pilgrimage. Google said scheduled YouTube channels would arrive some time in next year.