More Downloads From Disney?

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Something big must be brewing at Disney, given that the company scored back-to-back articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal concerning some much-needed upgrades coming to the site. The Times piece, published Sunday, delves more into the business problems Disney has coordinating all its properties into a coherent online strategy; the Journal piece, out today, has a little more meat about what might be forthcoming, including hints at more video and MySpace-like social networking for kids.

From the Journal article:

The new, which Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger plans to unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next Monday, is Disney’s take on social networking for mainstream America. In it, kids can chat while watching video clips, listening to music and playing a game, all at the same time. Parents, meanwhile, can control their kids’ use of the site.

Kid stuff is big business, but we also expect to hear more about direct downloads of other Disney and ABC content, perhaps in conjunction with an expected iTV announcement from Apple? Disney execs like Anne Sweeney have been spending their time telling anyone who would listen that Internet viewing is additive, not cannibalizing, broadcast and cable distribution. So moving more content directly from Disney Web sites shouldn’t make anyone in cableco land anxious, right? Looking forward to learning more from Iger’s speech next week at CES.

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