Disney has taken its first steps towards meaningful integration in an era that is fast moving towards convergence and triple play. As part of the process, the Walt Disney Company’s Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) along with Walt Disney Internet Group, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN-STAR Sports, and its US television network, ABC Entertainment, recently hosted a New Media Showcase in Asia Pacific.
The event, which was held in Singapore, was attended by major broadcasters, mobile operators, content aggregators, ISPs and triple play providers. It aimed to emphasise on Disney’s preparedness for the convergence era.
Speaking for the Walt Disney Company, Steve Macallister, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director, Buena Vista International Television (Asia Pacific), the television distribution arm of the Walt Disney Company, said, “Disney’s road map to the future lay in combining the riches of our entertainment properties with new forms of distribution. Asian consumers have a voracious appetite for both technology and content, and across our businesses we are embracing this sea of change. There really is no other entertainment company better equipped to navigate the changes in our industry than the Walt Disney Company.”
Buena Vista International Television (Asia Pacific) showcased the latest television content such as ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Lost’, available for new media platforms such as for mobile, the Internet and video-on-demand. BVITV-AP was the first studio to launch wireless content in South Korea in October 2005. In this landmark mobile content deal with TU Media, the first-ever with a US studio, over 250 hours of programming, including ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Alias’, went on air via its linear channel ‘Blue’.
Disney’s broadband site, DisneyChannel.com, showed a special series for kids and tweens – ‘That’s So Raven’ and ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody’ – in six different languages. Its Disney Mobile Theatre, features six Disney animated series in the form of 30-second shorts exclusively made for mobile devices and featuring Disney characters.
Its access is now available in India through the Airtel network.
In its bid to develop interactive Disney broadband destinations, online gaming and e-learning products and mobile products like e-comics and mobile games, Disney has entered China’s online gaming market through an agreement with Shanda Interactive Entertainment. Disney has also launched a broadband content product for families in Australia. In addition, it has struck a mobile carrier distribution deal in India too.
In essence, such initiatives only show Disney’s responsiveness to the changing media landscape. With technology compelling media and content companies to wake up to the need to be locally relevant and be visible across all media, Disney has got its act together for sure.