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Disney in cyberland

The Walt Disney Company, a survivor of animation, film, radio, and television evolution, now finds itself confronting yet another era of media upheaval: the Information Age.

Internet

The Walt Disney Company, a survivor of animation, film, radio, and television evolution, now finds itself confronting another era of media upheaval: the Internet revolution. In this special report, NEWS.COM tracks this cultural symbol's venture into cyberspace and examines the strategy behind it.

New domain for kingdom
exclusive In expanding the Magic Kingdom online, Disney is planning a major fee-based online service aimed at the family market that could include everything from celebrities hosting online features to a branded form of communication called "D-mail." The service, which will include a range of content plans from $5 to $20 a month, will compete directly with America Online, CompuServe, the Microsoft Network, and others for parents and children online.

A controlling interest
Disney has built much of its success on strict control over its operations and its status as an American family icon. But in going online, this reputedly image-obsessed corporation must address the stubborn perception of the Internet as a haven for illicit activity and sexual deviance. And even if it succeeds in securing a closed network, Disney must still adapt to the free-wheeling nature of the Web and the people who make it work.

From E ride to email
interactive graphic The planned online service will form a new nucleus for Disney's global marketing efforts. The company plans to use its electronic operation as an interactive roadmap leading to all corners of its empire where subscribers can purchase souvenirs, buy movie tickets, book trips to theme parks, and check programming changes on ABC, among a myriad of other services.

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