Here’s the Future for Disney’s Digital Strategy

Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is making a splash in the apps game with “Where’s My Water” — a mobile game that stars Swampy the alligator living in a sewer. Sound slimy? Apparently not to app gamers. The app launched on Sep 22 and raced to the top of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) top paid apps chart – displacing permanent resident Angry Birds for three weeks.

The app was produced by a crew of just seven people in seven-and-a-half months. Contrast this with a newly released movie that takes three to five years to make and hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) strategy to create million-dollar franchises in the app world may be working. “This is a very, very cost-effective way to develop characters,” said Tim Nollen, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA Inc. in New York. “It’s a new way of doing things.”

Swampy will also be aired on Disney.com and on YouTube (NASDAQ:GOOG) in a 12-part series in 2012. A book and a movie may follow. Welcome to the future for Disney.

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