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Is 2010 the year that Walt Disney Studios begins showing its movies online?

Jim Hill

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Is 2010 the year that Walt Disney Studios begins showing its movies online?

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Have you looked at the calendar lately? No, I’m not talking about how there are just seven shopping days ‘til Christmas. I mean that – as of today – we’ve just two weeks left ‘til 2010 gets underway.

Well, the folks who run The Walt Disney Company are clearly already making plans for next year. Over the past week or so, the Mouse has registered a number of domain names that they obviously plan on using in twenty-ten.

Miley Cyrus' new movie Last Song
Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Take – for example – “The Last Song.” Even though Miley Cyrus’ dramatic debut isn’t due in theaters ‘til April 2, 2010, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is already looking ahead to August of next year. When the DVD version of “The Last Song” is expected to go on sale.

Which is why – back on December 10th – The Walt Disney Company snagged these two domain names


Toy Story 3 stars Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie
Copyright 2009 Disney / Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Another film that the Mouse has high hopes for in 2010 is “Toy Story 3” (which isn’t due to pop up at your local multiplex ‘til June 18th of next year). To whet people’s appetites for this highly anticipated sequel, WDSHE plans on releasing “Toy Story” & “Toy Story 2” on Blu-ray on March 23, 2010.

The only problem is … Given that many people already own DVD versions of these Pixar films, WDSHE is already anticipating that it will encounter plenty of sales resistance for the Blu-ray “Special Edition” versions of “Toy Story” & “Toy Story 2.” Which is why – back on December 10th – Mickey registered these two domain names:


Which is why – come March -- you should make a point of checking out the above two web addresses and then see how you can get $5 off on each of the Blu-ray versions  of these Pixar films.

Blue Ray Logo
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Speaking of Blu-ray … I hope that you saved the receipt on that Blu-ray player you bought for the family this Christmas. Why For? Well, take a look at all of the new media-related domain names that The Walt Disney Company registered on December 16th:


Stitch as a TV
Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Do you remember that Keychest project that Disney officials have been talking about? The one that will supposedly allow The Company to distribute Disney-branded content across multiple platforms & devices? Which will then give consumers the sort of anytime, anywhere access to entertainment that they seem to be craving these days?

Well, judging by all the new media-related domain names that The Walt Disney Company just registered two days ago, 2010 could be the year when anytime, anywhere access finally does arrive. At least when it comes to Disney-branded content.

Bob Iger, Disney CEO
Disney CEO Bob Iger. Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

So are you ready to embrace this bold new, hi-tech version of the Mouse House (One that – FYI – that Bob Iger has been pushing for ever since he became CEO of The Walt Disney Company back in October of 2005)? And if not, why not?

Your thoughts?

Getting back to those seven-shopping-days-left-‘til-Christmas … If you plan on doing any holiday shopping on Amazon.com this year, could you please do JHM a favor and – before you begin any online bargain hunting – click on the banner above?

If you do that … Well, Jim Hill Media then gets a teeny tiny chunk of whatever you spend. Which would be a very generous way to show your appreciation for all the great stories that you’ve read on this site over the past year.

Happy Holidays!

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  • PingBack from http://www.everythingkids.org/2009/12/17/jim-hill-is-2010-the-year-that-walt-disney-studios-begins-2/

  • This post was mentioned on Twitter by JimHillMedia: Is #2010 the year that Walt #Disney Studios begins showing its movies online? http://goo.gl/fb/Q6is #pixar

  • Disney has already started to show their movies online.  There is a beta version for those who are members of the Disney Movie Rewards program.  There are currently 12 movies available that can be viewed online.  Once you redeedm the DMR code for one of those 12, that particular movie is unlocked and you can view it anytime via the DMR website, as long as you are logged in.  From memory, the movies are Up, Nightmare Before Christmas, Monsters Inc., the Jonas Brothers concert movie, the Hannah Montana movie, High School Musical 3, Bugs Life... that is all that I can recall right now.

  • The real upside to this type of program is all the library material that isn't cost-effective enough to be put on DVD.

  • I took a survey just before thanksgiving.

    It was all about different ways Disney was thinking about doing this.  

    Most were combo deals, such as Buy the Bluray for $26 and get the online version for $4.00   Or buy the online version for $17 then we will send you a DVD for $8.00 kind of deals.

    The pricing varied widley from the versions I gave above to insane ideas like buying the Bluray for $32 and then adding the online for another $17  and stuff.  CRAZY.

    They also wanted to know which model you liked out of 3 per page, and even took into account you torenting the movie.  So they know of the options out there.

    Also, most of the domains you listed were all for the same thing, They had you vote for what name they should call the service, and what name they should call your digital library (Such as the LOCKER urls)

    I was suprised they started the online viewing through Movie Rewards so soon though (Saw today)

    Also, I was really annoyed that the survey said it was 15 minutes.

    10 minutes in it said I know qualify to take the survey. WHAT, I thought I was almost done.   Then, the actualy survey took easily 40 minutes.  There were like 12-16 choices to select on each page (From could care less to definatly will buy) and about 40 pages to go through.

    I really expected to get an email from Disney Movie Rewards with some kind of gift or code for giving them like 1 hour of my time.


  • I think Iger will eventually push to have the DVD of a film sold at the theaters during the film's run. I believe that his push to shorten the time from release to DVD just reduces the number of revenue sources the film can tap.

    In the past, it was theaters, cable, network, DVD/rentals. What they have been pushing for is pretty much just aiming at direct-to-DVD. I think they are going to suffer in the long run with that kind of strategy.

  • dlfan4ever,

    If that is the push I would be happy, but could also see it costing Disney lots of lost revenue.

    We usually see all Disney movies in the theater, then buy the Bluray as soon as possible. We just watched Scrooge in the theater (Without the kids) and took the kids to see The Princess and the Frog. We would have seen the 2 Tinkerbell movies in the theater as well.

    If the DVD/Blu is available at the same time as the theater, we would skip the theater. If you have to get the DVD/Blu while AT the theater, 1 of us would go and leave the rest of them family home, thus saving many $.  Then factor in my parents coming over to watch it with us, and even loosing out on repeat theater viewings for the really good ones.

    Very consumer friendly idea, but I can't see the stockholders passing this idea.

  • I'm sure that's a definite concern for theatre owners, MarvinMar. But let's be honest here and consider today's audience.

    A lot of people skip the theatrical run of a movie nowadays because they know it'll be available on DVD . They consider their home theatre experience to be pretty equivalent to what they'll get at the movies in terms of sound and vision, and better in terms of convenience and cost. These folks aren't going to set foot in a theatre, so delaying the DVD release just means more time until Disney and the other studios see their revenue.

    Many others will see the movie once in the theaters for the movie experience and will want to own a copy so they can see it again or share it. They probably won't return to see it again during the theatrical run, and they'd probably appreciate being being able to get the movie now rather than wait for the DVD release.  The folks that will go again and again to see a movie during its theatrical run are few in number, and the movies that generate that kind of repeat business are rare.  There's a reason that studios consider a moderate drop in ticket sales from one week to another a success and a movie that holds steady or even sees a slight increase in sales to be a minor miracle. Given the way audiences see movies, can you blame the studios for wanting almost instant revenue instead of several steps of delayed gratification?

    As for theatres being killed off by this idea, sure, many theatres will close and some chains will probably fold.  The practical reality is that might mean there's 4 screens showing the same bloody movie in one town on the same weekend instead of 10; I think a lot of chains overbuilt theatres these past few years. But there's ll still be people who want to go see a movie. Releasing DVDs concurrent with the theatrical run won't kill off all movie theatres any more than TV did, or the VCR did, or the Internet did.    

  • ^^^^

    Well, when all theaters are gone, what will the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences use to base the Academy Awards on? If everything is either on DVD, TV or Internet Streaming, will that be the end of the Oscars? Will the Emmy Awards take over all first release awards honors?

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