Everyone involved in the web seems to be obsessed with content these days, how to get more of it and how to distribute that which you already have. Google and Disney look set to show us the way forward, as the two giants in their respective fields are expected to announce a new partnership on original web video series — to be produced by Disney and distributed on a co-branded YouTube channel as well as Disney.com. A combined sum of between $10 million and $15 million will be spent on the project, which will also include snippets of amateur video uploaded to YouTube.
Google's Robert Kyncl has told the New York Times that YouTube intends to remain a perfectly neutral platform and that this partnership doesn't mark a move into the production business. Disney will be responsible for all the content creation, which will begin with an original series based around the company's Where's My Water iOS app (starring Swampy the Alligator, above). Thereafter, says Disney Interactive's co-president James Pitaro, the goal will be to maintain at least eight series in production at any one time. Advertising sold alongside this new content will be handled by Disney, with a share of the revenues going to Google. This might not seem entirely thrilling today, but if Google can secure similar deals with other content producers, its goal of turning YouTube into a legitimate competitor to more established sources of video entertainment may be brought within reach relatively quickly.