The venture will be produced by Disney and distributed on a co-branded channel on Disney.com and YouTube, the New York Times reports. A combined $10 million to $15 million is planned for the original shorts, which will also include amateur video uploaded to YouTube.
The two companies are banking on their combined reputations to draw attention to the new content. While Disney is among the world’s most popular brands, their reputation isn’t strong enough to attract youngsters who are looking for video online; that’s where YouTube enters the picture. Disney hopes the partnership will be a gateway to reaching new generations of families through a familiar platform.
Co-president of Disney Interactive, James A Pitaro said the goal is to have eight original series in production at any given time. “Where’s My Water?” which features an alligator named Swampy, will be entirely produced by Disney.
In return, YouTube is looking to gain industry credibility out of the partnership – specifically among parents – to help quell concerns over provocative and inappropriate video that pervades the site. Additionally, the company is hoping to compete against cable TV for ad dollars by offering professionally produced videos. Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s global head for content partnerships, insisted the video-sharing website will remain a neutral distributor and doesn’t have plans to move into the production business. However, if the original web series is successful, similar content deals with other producers could potentially be in YouTube’s future.
Content is king after all, particularly in today’s digital streaming age. If YouTube hits a homerun with the deal, Google’s popular video-sharing devision might just be on its way to establishing itself as one of today’s premier content providers.