Earlier this month, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger invited leaders from across The Walt Disney Company to share updates on how Disney is extending its stories and characters on mobile devices. “Disney has a long legacy of innovation, especially when it comes to spectacular storytelling,” Bob said at the event. “Today we’re showcasing a small sample of mobile products across our businesses which demonstrate how we’re using the technology to lift the limits on creativity to enhance consumer experiences and expand our incredible storytelling.”
Disney Post also caught up with Jamie Voris, senior vice president and chief technology officer, The Walt Disney Studios, at the event. Hear his thoughts on how Disney is embracing technology in the video above.
Read the recap below to get a glimpse of some of the biggest announcements that were shared at the event:
Jimmy Pitaro, president, Disney Interactive, discussed Disney Interactive’s role in rebuilding Disney.com and its responsive design for mobile, which has resulted in significant traffic increases across mobile and web. Disney Interactive is also the No. 6 mobile games publisher worldwide.
He also announced a new mobile version of Disney Infinity 2.0 for iOS. The app includes multi-player functionality and will be available on iPhone for the first time this year.
John Kosner, executive vice president, Digital and Print Media, ESPN, and Ryan Spoon, senior vice president, Digital Product Management, ESPN, outlined how the ESPN Digital team uses mobile to turn the tremendous value of live sports into outstanding growth and category leadership.
In 2015, ESPN’s industry-leading SportsCenter app will change its name to ESPN, so that the Worldwide Leader in Sports’ website, mobile website and mobile app will all have the same name. ESPN will combine its native application and web development into one personalized experience—in time for the Super Bowl.
On April 1, 2015—the 20th anniversary of ESPN.com—ESPN will officially launch the new ESPN.com in the U.S. and UK.
Disney/ABC Television Group
Albert Cheng, executive vice president and chief product officer, Digital Media, Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG), shared data and key learnings from its recently re-launched WATCH services.
Across DATG’s five networks (ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD), the WATCH apps have been downloaded more than 50 million times, on 40 different devices and, on average, viewers watch 20 million hours of content a month on WATCH.
For the new Social Lens feature on WATCH ABC, the most activity is currently taking place on Scandal, Once Upon a Time, How to Get Away with Murder, Black-ish and Modern Family. The new FastShare feature on WATCH ABC is currently enabled on Scandal,Modern Family, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, The Middle and Nashville. So far, the most shared clips are from Scandal and Black-ish.
DATG also announced that it will deliver another slate of Disney Junior Appisodes next year, including the first-ever appisode for Sheriff Callie’s Wild West and Miles from Tomorrowland.
The Walt Disney Studios
Jamie Voris, senior vice president and chief technology officer, The Walt Disney Studios, gave an overview of Disney Movies Anywhere and announced its partnership with Walmart’s VUDU digital video service as a participating retailer.
Maker Studios discussed its Maker Axis platform, which allows for custom video hub creation across a vast network of creators. Ryan Lissack, chief technology officer, Maker Studios, spoke about the more than 10 video hubs launched both with responsive web destinations and native mobile apps on iPhone, iPad and Android.
Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products discussed its focus on meeting the needs of consumers on mobile devices through the convergence of play, storytelling and learning. Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president, Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW), announced its position as the No. 1 publisher of kids apps in 2014.
DPW also unveiled its plan to launch an entirely new learning brand, Disney Imagicademy, designed to meet the needs of parents and address an existing gap in the marketplace.
Walt Disney Parks And Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced plans to incorporate MagicBands into the Disney Infinity gaming experience and unlock an it’s a small world experience.