Disney, YouTube to Partner on Original Video Series

10:06 AM PST 11/07/2011 by Sophie Schillaci

The two media giants are expected to announce their new deal on Monday, Nov. 7.

The Walt Disney Company and YouTube are joining forces in launching a new video series, which will be distributed on a co-branded channel.

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The venture will see Disney Interactive Media and YouTube, a Google owned company, spending a combined $10 million to $15 million on an original video series, reports the New York Times. The videos will be made available on both YouTube and Disney.com.
 
The partnership should aid Disney in drawing a larger audience online, as the company acknowledges that its own brand is not sufficient to pull in young viewers searching for online video. Questions remain as to why Disney opted to partner with YouTube rather than Hulu, of which Disney is part owner. Where Hulu and YouTube differ, however, is that Hulu was created for TV content while YouTube is original for the web.

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“It’s imperative to go where our audience is,” said James A. Pitaro, co-president of Disney Interactive. The partnership hopes to “bring Disney’s legacy of storytelling to a new generation of families and Disney enthusiasts on the platforms they prefer.”
 
As for YouTube, the site hopes to gain credibility among parents while increasing ad revenue for the professionally produced videos. The alliance is also noteworthy, as YouTube remains legally embattled with Viacom (who owns Disney rival Nickelodeon), keeping the majority of its videos off the site.

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“It’s an acknowledgment that we want to work with the best brands and, yes, we expect this partnership to attract new advertisers,” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s global head for content partnerships.
 
An official announcement is expected on Monday, Nov. 7, following YouTube’s announcement in late October that it will create 100 new TV-style channels to feature entertainers including Madonna, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutcher, Sofia Vergara and Shaquille O’Neal.  

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