ESPN To Relaunch Mobile App, Social Lens Feature Ups ABC Shows

In looking to broaden its mobile presence for all its businesses, Walt Disney Co. made a number of announcements during what it called a mobile showcase event — everything from its TV networks to theme parks.

Coming in April, ESPN — one of Disney’s biggest brands — will see a relaunch of its biggest mobile app, “SportsCenter.” That app will change its name to ESPN (which never had an app of its own) all so the company’s Web site mobile site and mobile app will all have the same name, according to an announcement made by John Kosner, executive vp of digital and print media for ESPN.

ESPN will also redesign its web destination.

Kosner also noted that overall video ad impressions are up about 200% year-over-year for its WatchESPN video app. He cautioned to Media Daily News that the company’s mobile growth, and the industry overall, continues to be in its infancy, seeing sharp gains.



ESPN reaches 94 million unique users — 76% of ESPN digital users come through handsets and tablets; 40% through apps, and 17% through ESPN Fantasy Football.

For its other TV properties, Albert Cheng, executive vice president and chief product officer of digital media of Disney-ABC Television Group, noted the recent introduction of its Social Lens mobile feature on the company’s “Watch” apps — which allows TV viewers to connect seamlessly with all major social media areas — is seeing the most activity from five of its shows this season: “Scandal,” “Once Upon A Time,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Black-ish” and “Modern Family.”

For its new Fast Share feature — where viewers can share clips — ABC has seen best results here from “Scandal” and “Black-ish.”

After making deals with iTunes and Google Play to help users browse, buy, watch and organize their Disney movie libraries, Jamie Voris, chief technology officer of The Walt Disney Studios, said: “Disney Movies Anywhere” has made a deal with Wal-Mart and its Vudu digital video service. Disney Movies Anywhere allows consumers access to their movies across an array of devices — set-top boxes, gaming systems, smart TVs, as well as iOS and Android devices."

Disney's recent Maker Studios acquisition — the large digital short-form video and content network — announced Maker Axis, allowing content makers to create a custom video hubs on Web destinations and on mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Some 50% of Maker Studios audience viewing comes on mobile devices.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts says its My Disney Experience app, which allows resorts and parks visitors to plan and share their vacation, has been downloaded 5.5 million times. Part of its interactive tools, Disney’s MagicBand, a wristband for visitors in its theme parks, allows customers to be admitted to its parks, rides, and, for resorts guests, rooms and other areas.

Disney Publishing Worldwide will launch a new learning brand for parents and children — Disney Imagicademy. Disney Publishing has launched 11 apps in the past year, and says it is the No. 1 publisher of kids apps.

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