Monday, November 28, 2011


Disney Releases Marvel App

Disney will release a book app featuring Spider-Man.Disney will release a book app featuring Spider-Man.
When reading books, some children like to turn the page, others like to swipe the screen.
Seeking an opportunity to reach digitally curious children, on Monday the publishing arm of the Walt Disney Company will release its first app based on a Marvel Comics character, a children’s book app featuring Spider-Man.
Disney, the largest publisher of children’s books in the world, sells 700 million items a year in 85 countries, said Russell Hampton Jr., the president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. When the company bought Marvel Entertainment two years ago, “we saw an opportunity to build a complementary business with children’s books,” Mr. Hampton said. The company began overseeing Marvel’s printed books for children, but it was Apple’s iPad that gave Disney a way to translate the books digitally.
“In kids’ books, art plays a bigger role in telling the story than the text does,” Mr. Hampton said. However, “many of the devices were not capable of showcasing the art.”
Disney is using the popularity of tablets to sell more children’s books. Through the App Store and Android Market, Disney has published 30 book apps, which have been downloaded more than four million times, Mr. Hampton said.
The Spider-Man app will be released for the iPad, iPhone and iTouch for $6.99. Geared toward children ages 4 to 10, it includes interactive features, distinguishing it from e-books, Mr. Hampton said.
“E-books tend to be pretty strict translations of the print products,” he said. “Book apps tend to be almost new products that didn’t exist before. They have embedded video, music, games and activities.”
One of those extra features is the ability to have the story read for you. And who better to tuck your children into bed with a story about Spider-Man than his co-creator, Stan Lee? Mr. Lee narrates the app, telling the tale of how the web-slinger gained his powers.
“This is a whole new type of entertainment,” Mr. Lee said of the app. “They can offer things comic books cannot offer, all those extra features. That’s the brilliance of these things. They don’t detract from the story; they embellish.”

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