Disney’s digital footprint has grown significantly in the past few years thanks to their push in creating online content. With the creation of their own blogs and the acquisition of a content company in Maker Studios, the recipe to “winning the internet” was nearly there.
However, all of those editorial internet properties and associated teams were all operating separate from each other. Disney is a segmented company with multiple hands into multiple industries, each one encouraged to work with each other. The Company found that incredibly difficult to do, especially with something as complex as their internet-driven businesses that changes nearly every minute.
In an effort to unify those teams, Disney today announced the creation of the Disney Digital Media Network in New York City. The network is really just a unification of all of Disney’s current editorial brands and teams that are currently under Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.
This includes Oh My Disney, Disney Style, Maker Studios, and Star Wars.com, but excludes other Disney segments’ online editorial brands like the Disney Parks Blog and D23.com.
Together, the online properties will now be able to reach an audience of more than 1 billion followers across platforms like Facebook and email newsletters.
So what makes this unity so important? The answer is two-fold: to be able to hit more of their younger target audiences with branded content more effectively and to lure more advertisers to spend more on sponsored content.
“We are definitely looking to identify the influencers and creators who have the greatest appeal to [Disney’s target Gen Z and millennial] audience,” Andrew Sugerman, executive VP of publishing and digital media, said to Variety. “We’ll be looking for opportunities to map those influencers to the broader Disney company.”
These are two great goals to have as this segment of Disney has seen a troubled past mainly dealing with trying to monetize the business in a scalable way. The creation of the network is a clear signal that they are hoping that editorial content will help them do that, especially with the success that other digital content companies like BuzzFeed have done.
Expect to see even more online content including Disney-inspired memes with this new network in the next few months that will creep into your web searches, social media feeds, and maybe TV in the near future. The Company also announced that it is exploring ways to win over your TV watching with Disney-branded content as well.