Disney and YouTube Team Up to Offer Free Full Episodes of Kids' Favorite Shows
Screenshot Credit: YouTube
I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm so excited because I just found out that Disney and YouTube have joined forces to put full episodes of Disney Shows up on the Disney YouTube channel. I know, I'm not supposed to want my kids to watch television, but I'm a realist and the fact is that my kids do like their shows. My son loves Disney. In fact he loves it so much that at one point it was a real issue in our house. But with a new budget plan a few years ago, we got rid of expanded cable and with it went the Disney Channel. It's not that we have a problem living without it, but I love that this Disney YouTube channel offers the content on a more scaled back level so that we aren't living and breathing Disney. Sorry Walt, but sometimes it's just too much.
However, mixed in with the tween shows like Hannah Montana and The Suite Life, some of the shows are really rather cleaver and entertaining. Even my husband and I missed Phineas and Ferb and Special Agent Oso from time to time when we were watching the umpteenth episode of Curious George on PBS (don't get me wrong, I think PBS is an amazing channel and we love George!). My son often asks when we're going to get the Disney Channel back, and chances are it's going to be a long time for a multitude of reasons, but with 67 full episodes already uploaded and more to come (hopefully more for the younger set and less for the tween set), this will allow me to offer him an episode of it here and there without becoming Disney obsessed again. I also like that we'll be able to access the shows on our phones and tablets more easily should we be on the go. And Disney is creating new exclusive content starting with the series "Where's My Water?" for its YouTube channel to draw even more viewers.
There is no doubt that this is a mutually beneficial business move on both companies' parts. YouTube will now be trying to prove itself as place for kid-friendly viewing (certainly supervision on some level will be required so that your kids don't veer off Disney's YouTube channel if you don't want them searching the video sharing site).
As for Disney, a November New York Times article claims, "Disney, currently working on yet another overhaul of its Web site, is conceding that its own brand is not a powerful enough draw among children looking for video online; YouTube is viewed as being cooler."
It seems to be a win-win for both companies, although not without some investment. The duo are said to be spending $10-15 million on making this work. And while this may all really be about business, it's really a win-win-win arrangement because our family will be able to enjoy a wider variety of entertainment at less cost.
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