Disney Playing With Online Ads, Downloads

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The Walt Disney Company will make its popular Toontown MMORPG ad-supported later this year, and will offer movie downloads in conjunction with Microsoft.

Disney Playing With Online Ads, Downloads
Disney Playing With Online Ads, Downloads

As someone who has made several trips to Disney’s theme parks, I’m one of many people who can attest to the company’s dedication to prying money from people’s wallets while entertaining them. Disney doesn’t do anything if they don’t see a clear path to a payday.

The latest announcement of Disney teaming with Microsoft to offer movie rentals on demand isn’t too surprising. Disney has been standing cheerfully with Apple’s Steve Jobs both before and after buying his Pixar movie studios, and Disney content abounds on iTunes, so they aren’t strangers to the downloadable concept.

Disney’s new deal places an on-demand option on the Xbox Live Marketplace for Xbox 360 gamers. Disney movies and ABC television choices, in standard and high-definition formats, have become available. Microsoft and Disney disclosed this at the E3 Media & Business Summit.

This makes the Xbox 360 a little more family-friendly, as the gaming console has never been known as being oriented toward the younger market. The option to bring in a Disney movie on the Xbox 360 might make it more acceptable to parents who would probably not choose to buy one otherwise.

It is an important partnership due to Disney’s famed control over its content, especially the animated features. Disney isn’t going to risk losing money on them no matter how long ago the movies were released.

That brings us to Toontown, Disney’s multiplayer online game with some 17.5 million characters running around its colorful streets (many people create more than one toon, and can have up to six per account). Mediaweek disclosed Disney would shift the game from a subscription model to ad-supported sometime this fall.

Some players have been trying out the ad-supported version in beta since May. Disney charges a $9.95 per month subscription, with people willingly paying for it.

At first glance it’s tempting to compare the shift to AOL’s change from subscription to advertising as a revenue model. AOL had been hemorrhaging subscribers and needed to make a dramatic change. Disney isn’t under that same pressure.

The potential earnings for Toontown under an ad model must be really impressive. Saying that Disney doesn’t like to give things away is like suggesting your fingertips may redden slightly upon touching the surface of the Sun.

Disney Playing With Online Ads, Downloads
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  • http://www.shangrilaguesthouse.co.uk Maggie Longton

    Toontown is Newcastle in the North East of England.I have several domain names that would suffice.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/planet4 Kenneth

    I think it is about time one of these companies realized the high potential to increase their marketing options and yes it can also increase their bottom line by not needing retail stores to sell their products as log as they grant people a licence to make a copy to a dvd medium
    have a nice day

    • http://www.youtube.com/fiwaszewski Forrest Iwaszewski

      God yes, poor Disney needs to make as much money as possible!!!

  • http://www.nicolasmolina.com nmolina

    Ads Disney

  • Victor


    I have been looking for partnering opportunities in reselling online movies. Do you have aany ideas, leads on how i can go about it?

    I live in Kenya and we have massive cases of pirating here. A good way of stiffling that would be to offer rentals online of movies and subsidized rates.

    I will appreciate you help and or feedback


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