Disney-ABC Launches New-Media Studio With ‘Squeegees’ Series

Feb 28, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Disney-ABC Television Group has unveiled Stage 9 Digital Media, the company’s experimental new-media studio. Its first original Web series, “Squeegees,” debuts today on ABC.com and YouTube.
The series marks the first time the network has used YouTube’s platform to distribute its original content.
“An integral part of our overall digital strategy, Stage 9 was created to bridge the gap between user-generated content and traditional production, and is a perfect example of how we are continually looking at innovative methods to develop, produce, market and distribute the high-quality programming that consumers demand,” Anne Sweeney, Disney Media Networks co-chair and Disney-ABC Television group president, said.
“Squeegees,” a short-form sitcom that follows a group of window washers, was created and executive produced by its stars, Handsome Donkey principals Adam Countee, Brendan Countee, Marc Gilbar and Aaron Greenberg. New episodes are expected to be released every Monday and Friday. The initial run is sponsored by Toyota.
This is not the first time ABC.com has incorporated original content into its Web site. The site’s first original Web series, “Voicemail,” will get a second-season run; “Voicemail 2” is produced by Stage 9. “Squeegees” and “Voicemail 2” are the first of 20 planned programs by the new-media studio, all targeting the 18- to 34-year-old demographic.
Barry Jossen, an Oscar-winning short-film producer (“Dear Diary”), has been named general manager of Stage 9.
Stage 9’s partnership with YouTube to broadcast “Squeegees” will establish a new business model, the company said. The decision to use the Internet’s largest Web-video site to syndicate the series marks an important step toward reaching a mass online audience. However, embedding has been disabled on both sites, which could hinder the growth of the show’s audience and the series’ viral potential.


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