“Box office success with Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and bigger audiences for its hit ABC television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy helped Disney double its fourth-quarter net income,” Matthew Garrahan reports for The Financial Times.

“Bob Iger, chief executive, said the company would build on digital initiatives such as the sale of movies and TV shows on Apple’s iTunes by revamping Disney.com, adding features such as streaming of its programmes and social networking,” Garrahan reports. “Since June there have been 53m downloads of shows on DisneyChannel.com while ABC streamed 19m advertiser-supported episodes of programmes such as Desperate Housewives and Lost. Disney has sold nearly 500,000 movies on iTunes.”

“However, the group’s digital push has not pleased everybody, with US retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target privately expressing concern about the effect of digital sales of Disney product on DVD sales,” Garrahan reports. “Mr Iger said the digital strategy had created ‘tensions over issues like pricing and [release] windows.’ But he added: ‘In general, our relations with retailers are in great shape.'”

“Disney’s fourth-quarter net income rose from $379m to $782m. Revenues increased from $7.73bn to $8.8bn. Full-year net income rose $2.5bn to $3.4bn,” Garrahan reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Notes:
• After the initial week of curiosity with approximately 125,000 movies sold via Apple iTunes Store, the following 7-8 weeks averaged roughly 50,000 movies sold per week.
• On Monday, Disney announced that the #1 animated film of the year, Disney/Pixar’s “Cars,” and the #1 motion picture of the year, Walt Disney Pictures’ “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” will be available for download at Apple’s iTunes Store on November 7th and December 5th respectively.

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