updated 03:10 pm EDT, Thu July 23, 2009
Disney Paid Video Site
Disney chief Bob Iger late Wednesday explained at the Brainstorm Tech conference that his company is developing a subscription-based online video service. He provided few details, including release dates or monthly rates, but said it would include not only movies and TV shows but also games and extra entertainment. It's unofficially expected by Variety and others to have a partial social network component.
The effort would be Disney's first own direct paid video service and would potentially conflict with some of its existing services. It recently joined Hulu and offers some of its programming there for free in return for ads. It also reduces the need for pay-per-title video services like iTunes, where Disney has an indirect involvement; Apple CEO Steve Jobs sits on Disney's board of directors.
However, Iger stressed that the company doesn't view its different sources as mutually competitive and said that it readily embraced "multiple forms" of generating money, particularly when they each follow different business models and give viewers extra choices.
The company was one of the first major media studios to embrace online video and was the first to sign up for iTunes movie downloads in 2006. Before Hulu, it was already streaming ABC shows from that channel's website.