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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Disney Gets That Kids Want To Curl Up With Their TV

[Via forbes.com...]

Anne Sweeney
In the constantly changing technological landscape, TV companies have to decide how easily they want to make it for viewers to watch their shows. Do they stick with the traditional model of premiering shows on networks and later repackaging them on DVD and online? Or do they try to make the shows as widely available as possible even if it risks fewer people watching the shows on TV … where the advertisers are.

At Forbes’ Power Redefined Women’s Summit on Thursday, Disney Media Networks Co-Chair Anne Sweeney spoke about the fact that Disney now streams its live content on tablets and mobile phones through the Disney WATCH app which lets kids watch shows like Doc McStuffins and Phineas and Ferb online with an authenticated connection.

“We believe media is becoming more personal because you can hold it in your hand,” said Sweeney who was speaking on a panel about the new dynamics of connectivity along with Gayle King, Google ‘s Susan Wojcicki and The Muse co-founder Kathryn Minshew.

Sweeney recalled when the company was testing the WATCH app and she saw  two little children curled up together on the couch watching Disney even though there was a big TV in the room. She realized that kids liked the intimacy of watching their shows in such a cozy way.

Disney is embracing the changing relationship with its customers by making the company’s content as accessible as possible. (Although not every cable company has yet signed on to WATCH.) It’s not hurting the company’s bottom line. For the first six months of the year Disney reported $10 billion in revenue from the company’s media networks, up from $9.4 billion for the same time period last year.

Sweeney and her fellow panelists also talked about how technology is helping, or hurting, our ability to connect. King, who admits she struggles with technology, said that she prefers face to face interaction but she appreciates the fact that Skype lets her talk to her son who is living in Asia.

Wojcicki pointed out that the Internet helps people who are dealing with illnesses or other problems connect with similar people all around the world and gain the power of a supportive community. They all agreed that we’re only going to get more connected through technology but the challenge is going to be getting out of our little bubbles to find new things to like.