Net effect: New Disney.com no small world
Greater interactivity allows users to share videos, musicWith its world of fantasy and kid-friendly fare still center stage, the Walt Disney Co.'s remodeled Web site will offer greater interactivity when it launches in the next few weeks.
The revamped Disney.com, which Disney CEO Robert Iger unveiled this month during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will allow users to share videos, listen to music, create playlists and simultaneously play games and engage with friends within a virtual world of Disney characters and content for which the brand is well known. Disney.com is one of the company's most popular online attractions, according to Nielsen//NetRatings data for December, drawing nearly half of the 22.3 million unique visitors that came to Disney-branded sites in the frame. Disney Online accounts for 51% of Walt Disney Internet Group's traffic -- more than triple that of ESPN, which drew 15.8 million visitors in December, or ABC.com (6.3 million).
Central to the Web page, which took a year to redesign, is Disney Xtreme Digital, the site's broadband component that allows users greater personalization of their favorite Disney content from the company's myriad TV, film, music and gaming properties.
Through Disney XD, users can access premium Disney video and games, including the upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean" massively multiplayer online game set to launch this year.
"This is Disney.com on steroids," Iger said during the site's recent unveiling.
But while users can customize their own programming channels by dragging content to their own "backpack" and communicate with other users through mash-ups and shared music and videos like on MySpace, that music and video must be from Disney.
The homepage boasts new navigational tools, movable widgets and a video player in an environment full of bright fluorescent colors akin to "It's a Small World."
Disney's online makeover also integrates more advertising opportunities, including sponsorships and video ads, while subscription-based products also will be sold through the site.