(At left: Fun with Photoshop! A bit of new headgear for my friends the brightly-colored penguins, in honor of this auspicious occasion.)
So, when I came across this article titled Disney reports higher income yesterday, I did what my kids would’ve called “a big duh.” I mean, Disney reports making money? Really? But, wait—they report higher income. Higher than what? Higher than mine? Higher than Donald Trump’s?
Okay, clearly this was a case of poor article titling. I would have to read more to find out what the point really was. (Come to think of it, maybe that’s brilliant copy editing, right there. “What does it mean?” wonder potential readers. “I guess I’ll have to read it.”)
Well, it turns out that Disney earned even more profit in the third quarter than expected. I’m not really sure what that affects in the grand scheme of things, as it’s unclear to me—lowly peon that I am—what the shift to $9.05 billion from last year’s $8.47 billion in the same quarter really means. Do people get raises? Do the stockholders smoke cigars? Does someone who really deserves something pretty get to buy new shoes? What’s half a billion dollars to a corporate giant in the practical sense? I have no idea.
Anyway, this is not what interested me, here. What interested me is this:
The Burbank-based media conglomerate also took a big step to bolster its Internet offerings for teens with the purchase of Club Penguin, an online entertainment site, the company said Wednesday.
The purchase of Club Penguin for $350 million in cash, with the possibility of another $350 million if certain profit targets are met, will help speed those efforts, the company said.
The site, launched only two years ago by Canada’s New Horizon Interactive Ltd., will begin delivering profit for Disney right away.
“Club Penguin has grown into a site that boasts more than 12 million activated users and 700,000 paying subscribers,” Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said in a conference call with analysts Wednesday. “Imagine how Disney’s marketing skills and worldwide technological capabilities can contribute to Club Penguin’s growth and you can see why we are so enthusiastic about this acquisition.”
Since first discovering Club Penguin I’ve wondered how long it would be until the site was bought out by another, bigger fish. Now it’s happened. Will anything change? I hope not (unless they want to use my idea for mouse-ear hats for everyone), but I’m not sure a place like Disney can touch you and not leave a mark. The good news, I suppose, is that with that sort of funding and industry muscle behind them, those penguins should be set for life.