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Disney Partners with YouTube, Original Disney Content on the Way

YouTube, which has been trying to get into the original content game, and Disney, which has been trying to get into the hip-YouTube-videos game, have decided to team up and create an official Disney YouTube channel which will be the exclusive home to some new Disney animated shorts coming down the pipe. The two partners are looking to spend somewhere in the area of $10 to $15 million to develop series which will be available on as well as the Disney channel at YouTube proper.

The partnership may prove to be exceedingly beneficial for both parties as each has something quite valuable to offer the other. YouTube brings user-base to the table. After all, where else do you go to watch videos? Companies like Disney, that like to keep a short leash on their brands, have doubtlessly been losing traffic to more “anything goes” sites like YouTube that have become household names in a different, more practical way than Disney has. Kids are way more likely to hang around YouTube than to say “Hey, lets see what’s new on!”

On the other hand, YouTube can get a little raunchy, both in actual video footage and the horrible, horrible commentors that ravage the site daily. As such, it’s not really a place for “kids,” something reinforced by the requirement that all users (with accounts anyways) be at least 13 years of age or older. A rule that is hardly enforced. That being the case, YouTube has something to gain from being lent the name of Disney, and getting an opportunity to carve out a more child-friendly (and parent-friendly) corner where it can try to keep its users on the site, but not incensed.

As for money, the idea is that Disney will sell the ad space and divvy up revenue with YouTube in some way or another. In addition to the original shorts, there are also plans to feature some amateur, fan-made content from YouTube proper. How they’ll go about doing that, and whether featured acts will receive any compensation is up in the air, but Disney has stated that it’s not hiring on anyone extra to worry about it, so it sounds like it’ll be a pretty quick-and-dirty, “let’s do that one!” process.

All in all, it should be interesting to see how the partnership shakes out considering that this Disney channel will be a big proof-of-concept experiment regarding YouTube’s pitch to become a relevant content creator and Disney’s bid to stay hip for the kiddos. Will it work? Who knows, but free Disney shots probably won’t be a bad thing. Probably.

(via New York Times)

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