I had the pleasure meeting Walt Disney Studios Chief Technology Officer Jamie Voris via a teleconference yesterday evening during which he guided me step by step through the iOS version of ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ (formerly Disney Studio All Access), the company’s hotly anticipated digital rights system for movie portability. Built upon a foundation of Disney’s proprietary digital rights management system, KeyChest, Voris explained that the key is modularity. Although the system is being launched as ‘Phase One’ with support for desktops (Flash video) and Apple iOS devices via iTunes, it should be straightforward for them to partner with any content provider on most devices. The app even supports Apple TV via iCloud and AirPlay support. The service officially launched today, coinciding with the digital release of Frozen as well as the Blu-ray release of Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World.
Pictured here is the illustration used in several recently filed trademark applications filed by The Walt Disney Company. Just from the looks of it, three things are very clear: (1) it prominently features the Disney ‘D’ logo; (2) it contains a portion of what appears to be a filmstrip; and (3) the shape and outline of the illustration strongly suggests a mobile app, be it iOS, Android or both.
More importantly, the illustration accompanied several trademark applications for the following uses:
- Authentication, issuance, and validation of digital certificates and codes; Computer security services in the nature of providing an internet trust center, namely, computer security assurance and administration of digital certificates and codes
Using Na’vi-inspired shovels and assisted by a Na’vi, (left to right) George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort; Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France; Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; a Na’vi; Jon Landau, Avatar Producer; Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering; and Joe Rohde, creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, pose Jan. 8, 2014 during the ceremonial groundbreaking of an Avatar-inspired land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Walt Disney Company today announced the promotion of Adam Sanderson to senior vice president, corporate communications. The announcement was made by Zenia Mucha, executive vice president and chief communications officer of The Walt Disney Company. In his new role, Mr. Sanderson will oversee D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Disney Corporate Creative Resources and the Walt Disney Archives.
A 17-year Disney veteran, Sanderson most recently served as senior vice president, franchise management of Disney/ABC Television Group, where he was responsible for launching, building and sustaining franchises for Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, ABC Family, ABC Entertainment Group and ABC Daytime. Previously, he served as senior vice president, brand marketing of Disney Channels Worldwide, helping to build High School Musical, ‘Hannah Montana’ and Disney Junior into franchise successes, managing all synergy initiatives.
Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands and content across multiple platforms and devices, Disney/ABC Television Group announced today that the new WATCH ABC Family authenticated service will launch on Monday, January 6, 2014. Similar to DATG’s WATCH ABC and suite of WATCH DISNEY services, the new WATCH ABC Family offering will allow viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on demand access to such popular series as ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ ‘Switched at Birth,’ ‘The Fosters,’ ‘Baby Daddy’ and ‘Melissa & Joey’ at home and on-the-go via a wide array of devices.
With the big to-do that is the Downtown Disney-to-Disney Springs makeover, it’s probably easy to forget DTD’s sparser little sibling, Flamingo Crossings. Announced in 2007, with a small website erected in 2009 to hopefully garner interest from businesses, the promised ‘fun-filled, value-oriented, themed tourist district being developed directly outside the western gateway to Walt Disney World Resort’ has done little since to fulfill those promises. The last big news came in October of 2011, when Disney laid down some of the legal groundwork for tenancy as well as announced its agreement with Walgreens.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors has elected Jack Dorsey, chairman of Twitter Inc. and CEO of Square Inc., as an independent director, effective immediately.
“Jack Dorsey is a talented entrepreneur who has helped create groundbreaking new businesses in the social media and commerce spaces,” said Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The perspective he brings to Disney and its Board is extremely valuable, given our strategic priorities, which include utilizing the latest technologies and platforms to reach more people and to enhance the relationship we have with our customers.”
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors today declared an annual cash dividend of $0.86 per share, up 15 percent, or $0.11 per share, from the previous year. The dividend is payable on January 16, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 16, 2013. The January payment represents the 58th consecutive dividend payment to shareholders.
‘Disney had a great year creatively and financially in fiscal 2013, delivering record revenue, net income and earnings per share for the third year in a row,’ said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. ‘We are pleased to be able to increase our shareholder dividend by 15 percent while continuing to invest for future growth.’
The official Disney Parks blog today announced that commencing today — and barring any technical issues — Mickey Mouse will not only be meeting and greeting with guests at the Magic Kingdom, but conversing them as well, marking a new major milestone in a very lengthy history of attempting to bring characters to life in all new ways ahead of full NextGen technology implementation.
One might imagine it should not be too difficult for one describe the infamous Wicked Witch of the West from L. Frank Baum’s iconic Oz series, beginning with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In fact, one could probably close one’s eyes and simultaneously click one’s heels three times whilst describing her to a T. Whether it’s Theodora from Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful or Elphaba from Gregory Maguire’s Wicked series/Broadway musical, one would instantly recognize the Wicked Witch by her green flesh, pointy black hat and broomstick upon which she travels. Her green complexion is so identifiable with her, that it’s even a significant plot device in Maguire’s books.