Carleen Hawn talks on GigaOM about Disney’s purchase of Club Penguin, a Second life like game for Kids 8 to 16.
Did Club Penguin Sell-Up or Sell-Out? ? “I’m just as impressed as everyone else by Disney’s announcement yesterday that it will pay as much as $700 million for the “tween” social networking site, Club Penguin. Impressed, because it’s a huge amount of money “
But it is a bargain compared to what Second Life would go for. And Club Penguin has a much hotter demographic. Especially for Disney.
Club Penguin thus far has been Ad Free in game. And while Disney claims it will stay that way, the truth is product placement is some of the most effective advertising there is.
When MTV teamed up with Pepsi to put Pepsi Cans in Virtual Laguna Beach they quickly discovered that a simple character accessory can be a hugely popular status symbol, and the MTV crowd is no where near as “Lemming Minded” as the Penguin Crowd.
You can bet the Disney has already figured out ways to promote upcoming films, Merchandise and TV shows through Club Penguin. Much like MTV’s in game movie theatres we can expect viewing caves and other places to “promote awareness” of Disney products to the Tween Crowd.
Combine this with the potential to make money on the subscriptions themselves and Disney made a very smart investment. WOW has 9 million subscribers. If Disney could get one third of that they would recoup their investment in 4 years. And while 4 years is a life time in the Internet space, getting a jump on learning the rules to the game could make it well worth while.