When Disney acquired Maker Studios three years ago, it felt as though the sky was the limit for creators but then things took a turn. After announcing they were cutting ties with the bulk of their YouTube creators and controversial gamer PewDie Pie, Disney and Maker showed off a new approach with all of Disney’s digital businesses now under one brand: Disney Digital Network.
The new brand will cover Disney’s editorial brands Babble, Polaris, and Oh My Disney, as well as over 300 social media channels based on their popular movie characters, and the new Maker creator network. It will also include the in-house branded content company Disney Co/Op. The combined brands total one billion total followers.
At today’s NewFront presentation, Disney executive vice president Andrew Sugarman delved into the decision to downsize and how it will benefit advertisers and allow Disney to integrate more of their home talent. The discussion of how YouTube monitors ads has been a major part of the conversation at NewFronts after the recent boycott from some marketers who were upset that some ads were being run against extremist videos containing violence and hate-speech.
Finally, Disney unveiled their full programming slate below:
Science and Star Wars: An episodic series that explores, explains, and demonstrates the parallels between the science fantasy of Star Wars and the real-world scientific breakthroughs the saga has inspired. Join show host Anthony Carboni and his rotating roster of IBM researchers, scientific experts, guest stars, and Watson, to explore and experiment with technology that isn’t so far, far away anymore.
Oh My Disney Show, Season 2: Comedy, news, trends, and sketches combine in this always-on show built for every Disney’s fan’s feed.
Club Mickey Mouse: Club Mickey Mouse is a digital-first variety show that celebrates the original show of yesteryear but brings it into the present-day with a diverse cast of talented young creators, and, of course, everyone’s favorite mouse.
Disney IRL: Oh My Disney brings iconic animated Disney characters and moments to real life, surprising people on location and our viewers at home.
COIN: COIN is an animated action-comedy on Polaris with a distinct, game-inspired aesthetic that follows a team of misfits tasked to save their world. Brought together by time traveling robot Crohnobot, Donovan (a gruff plumber quick to anger), Kid Victory (a master of weaponry), and the Sisters Vicious (twin masters) of illusion who hate each other) must defeat super-villain Gamovah and retrieve the coin of Chorder before it’s too late.
Disney Design Challenge: The best and brightest young designers are invited to push the boundaries of their art form to create beautiful, innovative, and memorable works inspired by Disney films. In the first season, we challenge students in the fashion design program at Otis College of Art and Design to create an eight-look clothing line inspired by Disney’s Frozen.
Disney Magical Starts: This show is for the parents who want to spend more time creating experiences with their kids, but don’t know where to start. Our host parents and their kids help you tackle every day, and every new season, from holidays to back-to-school, with meal ideas, activities, crafts, tips, and more. And with a little help from our beloved Disney characters, family time is even more magical.
Emily J | TV Editor