HANDS ON: ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ Launches with Over 400 Titles

Disney Movies Anywhere - Sign Up Screen

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.

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Punchbowl Debuts Free Disney Digital Invitations

Disney Invitations by PunchbowlIn association with Disney Interactive’s Spoonful.com, Punchbowl has introduced an exclusive line of free online invitations themed to beloved Disney favorites such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, Toy Story, Cars and The Muppets.

Designed in collaboration with Disney’s award-winning creative staff, the collection enables parents to send free digital invitations as the perfect complement to Disney-themed parties. The invitations can be customized and shared via email and social media and feature iconic Disney characters that are beloved by children and parents alike.

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‘WATCH ABC Family’ Platform to Launch Monday, January 6

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.

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Disney to Maintain Stake in Hulu; Will Join $750 Million Cash Infusion

21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today jointly announced that they will maintain their respective ownership positions in Hulu and together provide a cash infusion of $750 million in order to propel future growth.

Launched in 2008, Hulu is now a leading aggregator of premium online television content from over 400 content partners, and has achieved more than 30 million monthly unique visitors.

‘Hulu has emerged as one of the most consumer friendly, technologically innovative viewing platforms in the digital era. As its evolution continues, Disney and its partners are committing resources to enable Hulu to achieve its maximum potential,’ said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.

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Evite Launches Disney Invitations in Partnership with Spoonful.com

Disney on EviteDisney’s Spoonful.com today announced that the popular Evite online invitation website has been named its exclusive online party invitation partner and now offers a new collection of Disney-themed online party invitations.

The Evite Disney Collection includes characters popular with both boys and girls, captured in eye-catching designs that utilize Evite’s signature, simple-to-use online invitation templates and party planning tools. The invitation designs were created by Disney’s award-winning creative staff in collaboration with Evite’s expert team of digital invitation designers.

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Walt Disney Imagineering ‘Living Worlds’ Project Seeking Designers to Engage in Transmedia Storytelling

Disney Living Worlds project from Walt Disney ImagineeringWalt Disney Imagineering Research and Development will soon launch phase one of its new ‘Living Worlds’ program in which it seeks to engage ‘innovative storytellers willing to push the limits to create fully immersive worlds where guests can explore, play and discover deep narratives.’

Beginning October 22, WDI R&D will begin accepting high level proposals for potential transmedia stories supported under the program. Proposals received by December 1, 2012, will be considered for round two in which chosen proposals will be engaged to further develop their concepts and submit a more detailed and developed proposal. From this second round of proposals, Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development hopes to select one or more teams to collaborate with to create and build the proposed experiences.

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REPORT: Disney Suffers Major Internet Outage Friday Morning

For more than half an hour earlier this morning, the internet arm of The Walt Disney Company suffered a major outage, affecting access to all of its internally run sites, across the board from ESPN to Disney Parks and Resorts to Disney Store and potentially much more.

Visitors attempting to reach the sites, most of which are actually subhosts off of Disney’s GO.COM, were greeted with delays while their browsers attempted to communicate with the websites which were unresponsive, eventually timing out. The only responding server appeared to be that of DisneyStore.com, but it would return just a line of text resembling an md5 hash.

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‘Cars Land Racers’ Brings Disney’s Cars Land to World Wide Web

Cars Land RacersDisney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort has already released an innovative flash app to promote its new Cars Land expansion, allowing online guests to virtually tour the new land (by car, of course), visiting each of the residents of Radiator Springs to see their wares and learn more about the new shopping, dining and attraction experiences. Guests can even create, customize and share their own virtual Cars-inspired avatar for the virtual road trip.

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Disney Online to Launch Groupon-esque Site Geared Towards Families

Disney Family DealsDisney Online (NYSE:DIS) has recently begun teasing ‘Disney Family Deals,’ a website that promises its online guests that they will find ‘fantastic offers on Disney toys, vacations, clothing, collectibles, music, videos and more!’ In addition to the online deals, the site also promises to offer localized activities, products and services.

The underlying framework of Disney Family Deals appears to be that of Plum District, a site ‘for moms, by moms,’ which offers time-limited localized deals, or essentially exactly what Disney Family Deals promises minus the Disney-specific opportunities, which are more likely than not to be various offers aggregated from across the Walt Disney Company.

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Disney Studio All Access Finally Launching This Month? (Introducing Disney Everywhere’s Movie Cloud)

Disney Studio All Access for iPhone DevicesNow that Disney (NYSE:DIS) has finally gotten its ‘TV Everywhere’ initiative off the ground, as we first reported earlier this month — with even more networks such as ABC Family on the way, along with cable providers beyond Comcast — the focus now shifts to Disney’s extensive film collection.

An announcement made last week on Disney Movies Online has raised some eyebrows, causing some to ponder if DSAA/Keychest’s time has finally arrived. Certainly the changes coming to DMO on June 27 are worth the contemplation: accounts for those under 13 not permitted; accounts only for United States users; and a slew of films that won’t be available for viewing online for the foreseeable future.

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