Thursday, 17 September 2009

Disney mobile content heading to Virgin Mobile users – United Kingdom

The Walt Disney Internet Group has been trying to make money out of mobile for a while. Most notably their biggest failures to date have been their MVNO ventures in the USA with Disney Mobile and separately ESPN Mobile. The former was to target tweens and children essentially based upon the power of Mickey Mouse and other characters’ brand. The latter was an attempt at basing a network around sports fans with the offer of video content and similar other features based around their need for on demand baseball, basketball, football, etc. Both services failed to attract sustainable subscriber levels and ultimately had a big impact on the decision to cancel a proposed UK Disney MVNO. Over in Japan however the love of cute small things has seen the Disney Mobile MVNO become a big profitable success with young female adults.

Disney has since pursued mobile ventures from a mobile content point of view and has now signed up with Virgin Media in what has been called a ‘three screens deal’. The venture simply means that Virgin Media customers will have on demand access to Disney media via TV, Internet and on the move via their mobiles. Virgin also provides a mobile broadband service therefore the Disney content will also be available via laptops on the go.

Boel Ferguson, Vice President and General Manager, Disney Channels UK and Ireland commented: “Our vision is to put choice in the hands of our viewers and allow them to access our content via as many potential platforms as possible - this new deal with Virgin Media helps make our vision a reality.”

Katharine Burns, Executive Director of Content Acquisition at Virgin Media said: “Virgin Media has been a pioneer in developing new TV services and our three screens deal with Disney is a perfect example of how driving innovation can benefit the consumer and enhance their viewing experience.”

Virgin Media also announced that Eamonn O'Hare has become their new Chief Finance Officer; he joins the company from Tesco.