Disney buys Club Penguin social networking site

The Walt Disney Company has bought children’s social networking site Club Penguin as it attempts to ramp up its digital presence and utilise the internet as a communications and marketing tool. The US-based site will be rebranded Disney Club Penguin and rolled out internationally

The Walt Disney Company has bought children’s social networking site Club Penguin as it attempts to ramp up its digital presence and utilise the internet as a communications and marketing tool. The US-based site will be rebranded Disney Club Penguin and rolled out internationally.

Disney also intends to exploit the brand across video games, consumer products and possible presence in its theme parks. Chief executive Bob Iger says: “Our vision has been to create online destinations where kids around the world can interact with each other and play games alongside their favourite Disney characters.”

Club Penguin will sit as part of the Disney Internet Group. Disney is paying $350m (£172m) with the promise of another $350m to 2009 depending on earnings. The ad-free site is geared towards children aged six to 14 years and allows users to the adopt penguin avatars, talk to each other, play games and furnish igloos.

It earns revenue through paid subscriptions. It has 700,000 paid members and a further 12 million activated users have access to a more limited site. Sony is also believed to have considering buying the site.

Disney will promote the network through its Disney Channel, Radio Disney and Disney.com.

Earlier this year the company unveiled its revamped Disney.com online offering to capitalise on the interest in social networking. The site was designed as a one-stop shop for consumers seeking to buy products online following concerns over the usability of its previous site.

It has also launched Disney Fairies, where children can create fairy avatars. The site will relaunch next year based around the Tinker Bell character.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here