November 07, 2011

YouTube, Disney Partner Up for a More Family-Friendly Web

YouTube (News - Alert) is about to get a little friendlier in terms of family viewing as the video site is now partnered up with Disney (News - Alert) to produce co-branded videos.

The two inked a deal that will create a Disney channel containing original content on the Google-owned video site, the New York Times reports. Google (News - Alert) and Disney will collaboratively spend $10 million to $15 million on the venture, the Times reported, to produce original video series, which will then be available on both YouTube and

YouTube has been trying to make the move towards original, professional content for a while now. Late last month, it reportedly reached deals with dozens of celebrities and production companies to start channels for professional content, offering each partner an advance of up to $5 million.

According to the Times report, the alliance will help each company overcome individual weaknesses in attracting certain desired viewers. For example, the report says, Disney’s website hasn’t really successfully attracted children who might be searching for videos.

“As we prepare to re-launch in fall 2012, the Disney/YouTube destination will play a critical part in our next generation platform,” said Jimmy Pitaro, co-president of Disney Interactive.

The deal with Disney is a gigantic leap for the site, which is mostly known for its viral videos. YouTube could possibly gain a wider family appeal and credibility through the new partnership.

There are a myriad of already family-friendly networks and shows that have their own YouTube channels, from PBSKids Sprout to Sesame Street.

In fact, Sesame Street’s YouTube channel made some interesting headlines last month, as it was the victim of a hack that turned its channel into an x-rated fiasco.

It appeared that X-rated videos replaced the usual fun Sesame Street videos, but were online for less than an hour. There were no viewer complaints.

According to the AP, Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente said, “We have great hopes that it was found out” before young viewers could see the X-rated material.

Back online that Monday afternoon, a statement on the page read, “We apologize for any inconvenience our audience may have experienced yesterday on our Sesame Street YouTube channel. Our channel was temporarily compromised, but we have since restored our original line-up of the best classic Sesame Street video clips featuring Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and the rest of the fuzzy, feathered and googly-eyed friends you remember from childhood.”

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell