Disney Bonds With YouTube For Online Family Fare

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The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Interactive division has inked a deal with YouTube, under which the media company will produce original, short-form content for "family-friendly" video sites on both Disney.com and YouTube that also will mix in some Disney Channel programming and user-created content.

Under the deal, the companies initially will spend between $10 million and $15 million to produce original content, The New York Times reported.

The online video destinations are expected to launch in early 2012. The first content to debut under the pact will be an original video series based on Disney's alligator-themed mobile game "Where's My Water?" scheduled to launch in February 2012. and will be followed by other similarly short-form, family-oriented programming.

"With online video consumption exploding and YouTube at the center of that trend, we see an opportunity for Disney Interactive and YouTube to bring Disney's legacy of storytelling to a new generation of families and Disney enthusiasts on the platforms they prefer," Disney Interactive co-president Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. "As we prepare to re-launch Disney.com in fall 2012, the Disney/YouTube destination will play a critical part in our next generation platform."

Last month, YouTube announced plans to launch 96 channels on with original content over the next year, in an effort to attract more video advertising. The mélange of content partners on this initiative includes Shaquille O'Neal, Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Deepak Chopra, The Onion, Thomson Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

Google's also attempting to get to the living-room TV. The company is releasing version 2.0 of its Google TV software, designed to meld Internet content and advanced features with traditional TV.

In addition, Google is reportedly mulling the possibility of offering pay-TV service on top of its experimental fiber-to-the-home network in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.