Disney's social-media land grab

With the purchase of Playdom, Tapulous and even Marvel, Iger pays top dollar for a new generation of savvy customers.

By TheWrap Jul 30, 2010 1:09PM

Nobody can accuse Disney (DIS) chief Bob Iger of being stingy.


When he sees something he believes will help the venerable entertainment conglomerate evolve -- be it Marvel, Pixar or his latest bauble, social-media gaming developer Playdom -- he pays top dollar.


Over Iger's five-year stint in the top seat, Disney's acquisitions have totaled nearly $13 billion. Disney believes that's a small price to pay for a portfolio of brands that will help it attract a different generation of tech-savvy customers. 


Like the Pixar and Marvel moves, Playdom -- which cost $563 million, plus a $200 million performance-based earn-out -- represents an opportunity for the Mouse House to modernize and expand its audience.

In the case of Marvel, Disney was acquiring properties that appeal to young men, a traditionally difficult demographic for the company to crack. Likewise, the Pixar purchase was an implicit acknowledgement that Disney's traditional animation division had plateaued and that the CGI studio was more finely attuned to today's audiences.


So, too, with the newest star in the Disney galaxy. By bringing Playdom into the Disney tent, the company gains a team well versed in new media. It also gets another bridge to the online world, one that brings with it several potential revenue streams. Disney plans to leverage Playdom by selling online goods and advertisements.

“It’s still in its early days, but if done correctly, it has the potential to be a high growth engine,” said Mike Hickey, an analyst with investment firm Janco Partners. “This could grow by 30 to 40 percent. Where else could you find that?”


Read more at TheWrap.


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