Mouse + Penguin = cash cow
A Club Penguin character wears Mickey Mouse ears.
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Scott Jagow: Disney also handed in some decent numbers for the last quarter. Profits were up 5 percent, and Disney also had an announcement to make. I'll give you a hint: What do you get when you cross a mouse with a penguin? Lisa Napoli has the answer.
Lisa Napoli: If you're not 10 years old, or you don't have a kid around that age, you probably haven't heard about Club Penguin.
The social networking site has infiltrated the minds of kids and the pocketbooks of parents. It costs $6 a month to play in this advertising-free world of virtual igloos said to have 700,000 paying members.
This spring, Club Penguin's founders turned down a $450 million offer from Sony. They got a much cooler deal from Disney: $350 million now, and possibly $350 million more over the next couple of years.
Nice cash for three guys and their homespun Canadian company that's less than two years old.
Rafat Ali publishes PaidContent.org. He says there's a couple of reasons parents like Club Penguin:
Rafat Ali: Because there's no advertising, they feel kind of safe. They don't want their kids to be addicted to the console video games, so this is probably an alternative.
Major media companies like the tween demographic, 'cause they'll soon get out from under their parents' wings and have cash of their own to spend.
In Los Angeles, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.