March 21st, 2011

A Glossy Take on Disney

The New York Times

Ask executives at Disney Publishing to explain why they are trying to build a children’s subscription magazine business in the United States, and the answer will involve marketplace analysis this and business model that. It boils down to this explanation, offered by Aparna Pande, Disney’s general manager for American magazines: “Kids want them, and moms will pay for them.”

On Tuesday, Disney plans to announce the introduction of a cluster of new subscription magazines — an effort to replicate in the United States what is a robust business in Europe. Phineas and Ferb, a print companion to the animated television series of the same name, will be a 52-page bimonthly available at retail outlets for $4.99 and via annual subscription for $23.95.

Disney will introduce a monthly Cars magazine in the fall. Disney also plans magazines built around Marvel movies like “Thor” and “Captain America.” Ms. Pande said that the company had high hopes for the new magazines based on demand for test issues last year. “They greatly surpassed our expectations,” she said.

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