Disney takes big plunge into online video


Eighty years after the 7 1/2 -minute cartoon "Steamboat Willie" helped launch the career of a certain iconic mouse, Walt Disney Co. has returned to its short-form roots with the debut of a digital studio that will develop original content for the Internet.

Stage 9 Digital Media, quietly in the works for two years, will be unveiled today with the premiere of "Squeegees," a comedy series about window-washer slackers, on ABC.com and YouTube. It is the first of a planned 20 online programs currently in development."We've all seen the appeal of short-form content grow over the past few years," said Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group. "The launch of this experimental new media studio allows us to play in this space with some quality content, while giving us an interesting venue for telling stories in a different form."

ABC Television Group joins a growing number of TV studios, including CBS and Warner Bros., that have set up separate digital creative teams to produce the kind of instant-gratification videos that are popular online, especially among young viewers who can no longer be counted on to watch the networks' prime-time shows.

(Source: LA Times)

Film Business, Hollywood, Internet TV, TV, Web Video

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