*Disney buys Kaboose sites for $18 million
*Says Disney parent sites to reach almost 20 pct of moms
LOS ANGELES, June 1 (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) on Monday said it closed an $18 million deal to buy several Web sites from Kaboose Inc as part of a long-standing effort to beef up its Web presence and advertising muscle among parents, especially mothers.
The deal had been announced in April but was completed on Monday.
The addition of the half-dozen or so sites, including the popular BabyZone.com and Kaboose.com, will more than double traffic for Disney’s parent-oriented sites and reach nearly one in five moms online, Disney said in a statement.
DisneyFamily.com and FamilyFun.com, reached 2.6 million unique visitors in April of 2009, while the Kaboose sites reached 3.6 million unique users, Disney said.
The new assets and Disney’s existing sites will be parked under a new division called Disney Online Mom and Family Portfolio, headed by Emily Smith, vice president of Disney Online.
In an interview, Smith said Disney has long targeted mothers because they make most household buying decisions and are attractive to a wide swath of advertisers.
“Certainly we believe we should be the first call that advertisers should make when they want to reach moms online,” Smith said.
BabyZone.com brings a new demographic — pregnant and first-time mothers — and new categories of advertisers into the Disney online fold, and Kaboose.com, a top crafts site, would attract moms with school-age kids, Smith said.
“We are very attracted to the traffic,” Smith said. “They have long been a friendly competitor of ours ... it’s a very natural fit.”
In the near term, Disney plans to keep operating all the Kaboose sites, but may later consolidate some content, Smith said. (Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Gary Hill)