Disney Plans Major Launches of New Kids Apps
Authenticated apps for three kids' channels will offer both linear and VOD content to Comcast subs
By George Winslow -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/14/2012 12:00:00 PM
Albert Cheng, executive VP and chief product officer of digital media at the Disney/ABC Television Group, discussed the new authenticated apps at a session at the Banff World Media Festival and in an interview with B&C at Banff.
The launches are notable because they highlight the ongoing shift in business strategies towards TV Everywhere deals, where the digital distribution of content is tied to larger multichannel deals that give subscribers preferred access to content.
When the new apps launch on Comcast, the MSO's subscribers using the free apps will have access to a linear live feed as well as a large amount of VOD content that will become available a day after the episodes air on the channels.
Non-authenticated subscribers can also download and use the free apps but they will have access to a much more limited collection of content.
While Thursday's announcement concerned the kid's channels, Cheng noted that the company was in similar discussions to make content for all its networks, including ABC, available as part of larger TV Everywhere deals.
Windows for that content might vary for those kids apps, but they would generally offer authenticated subscriber access to content sooner than non-authenticated subscribers.
"We are doing the kids networks first, but this is where we are heading in the future," he said in an interview. "It is a question of getting the deals in place."
Cheng noted that the TV Everywhere deals had a distinct advantage for the TV industry because it created a dual revenue stream of advertising and frees from the operators. "We are being compensated for the rights," he said during a Q&A session at Banff, which saw increased attendance this year to over 2,500 TV executives around the world.
The apps are also notable because the company is billing the launch as a first time an entertainment network will offer users both a live and on-demand content as part of authenticated app.
In an interview at Banff, Kelly J. Peña, senior VP Disney Channels Worldwide Research, noted that they had done extensive research before launching the apps and that comments from kids about the value of a live feed had convinced them to offer both a live and VOD content.
She noted that the kids didn't want to miss any of the live episodes their friends might see on the channels.
The company also did extensive research to streamline the user interface and the authentication process.
When launched, the apps will give Comcast's Xfinity TV customers access to episodes from such series as Good Luck Charlie, Shake It Up, Phineas and Ferb, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Never Land Pirates from Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.
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