Disney is on the right track with their launch of www.disneydigitalbooks.com. With this new initiative from Disney I think we see a glance and what is possible when we begin to think about the question of re-inventing books.
Disney is in the early stages of this development and I am sure they will continue to innovate with more multi-media over time. But the important thing is that they have jumped off on the right foot with a powerful new service at a pretty decent price point.
These digital books are online only through the browser but Disney has stated they are looking at all platforms. Keep in mind Steve Jobs is on their board and a majority shareholder.
What I love about this initiative is that Disney has now entered this market in full force and will continue to open the eyes of publishing executives about what is possible as we create what is in essence a multimedia book. These books from Disney are much more interactive and engage with the child in the reading experience by using sound, animation and more.
My initial fear with the creation of multimedia books is that it would skew too heavily on the multimedia front. I am glad that Disney has come out and said that their experience will be about reading and the media will be supplemental to the reading experience. This again is a good way to look at this transition from analog to digital books.
Disney has the marketing power to really drive this concept and create value around their assets. It is exciting to see a company like the Walt Disney Company embrace a medium, have a vision and create something truly valuable.