With Digital NewFront, Disney’s web stories point to past and future

A web series grounded in the Vinylmation toy line and another based on the It's a Small World IP were among the original short-form programs unveiled by Disney Interactive at its Digital NewFront this morning in New York. The House of Mouse made its presentation to ad buyers with a newly reported 500 million Facebook fans and two billion YouTube views under its wing.
May 2, 2013

With 500 million Facebook fans and two billion YouTube views under its wing, Disney Interactive unveiled a slate of new short-form digital programming at its Digital NewFront presentation to advertisers this morning in New York.

Among the content revealed at this year’s NewFront – the two-year-old, week-long video content event for media powerhouses based on the classic TV upfront presentation – is Blank: A Love Story, a web series based on Vinylmation, the company’s vinyl collectible toy line. (In the series, a blank toy is left unpainted by a factory machine and sets out to find the only other toy that may hold the answer to his destiny). The new It’s a Small World web series builds on the iconic theme park ride and coinciding eBook series and follows a magical hot-air balloon as it befriends a group of kids. And a new finger puppet series called Digitales theatrically retells stories from the Disney archives.

“The company’s foundation is the ability to share stories with one another, and doing this across media is essential,” says Mark Walker, SVP at Disney Interactive, adding that this year’s offerings, such as the aforementioned series, include extensions of stories already being told by the company through its various divisions.

“Consumption patterns are different in digital and we are seeing excitement about short-form content that is between one and three minutes long, which matches up well with the attention spans of our modern audience,” says Walker. “From an ad perspective, we are really talking about evolving to multi-platform and extending our social media footprint.”

Helping Disney reach the newly announced milestone of two billion YouTube views are the recent successes of digital series Swampy’s Underground Adventures, which has been viewed more than 27 million times, and Talking Friends, the company’s series based on the Talking Friends apps, which has been viewed more than 130 million times.

Swampy will return in Swampy’s Underground Adventures: Season 2, which will continue to follow the unpredictable adventures of the friendly alligator.

Additional series revealed today include Celebrity Pet Psychic featuring animal communicator Sonya Fitzpatrick; Citizen Kid, a profile of ordinary kids who are doing extraordinary things; Unfiltered with Cole Plante, which follows 16-year-old electronic dance deejay Cole Plante as he prepares to take the stage at Lollapalooza; a weekly style show entitled D’Fied; the how-to series Making It Up; the mockumentary Stunt’d; and That’s Fresh with Helen Cavallo,  a cooking show with chef and host of the Disney Junior show That’s Fresh: Recipes so Easy, You’re Laughing.

All of the original shows will premiere on and across its digital networks.

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