Disney’s big streaming launch could have gone smoother

Photo of Disney’s big streaming launch could have gone smoother

From its beloved global brand to its library of popular titles, Disney is well positioned to take on Netflix over the future of streaming entertainment. But first, its new service has to work.

Disney+, the company’s long-awaited streaming product, went live this morning at 3am Eastern time in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands. In the hours since, users have taken to social media to complain about a variety of errors.

Many experienced issues downloading and logging into the app on several platforms, including Playstation, Xbox, Apple TV, and Samsung TV. (As of this writing, Disney+ is working for me on the iPhone app, but not on desktop.) Others said they could log in just fine, but had trouble actually watching videos. Some reported their apps crashed entirely.

“The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our high expectations,” a Disney+ spokesperson told Quartz in an email. “We are pleased by this incredible response and are working to quickly resolve the current user issue. We appreciate your patience.”

This was foreseeable. Disney did not allow downloads of the Disney+ app on any platform prior to today’s launch. As a result, millions of users are trying to download the app and stream content all at once.

At an event last week, Kevin Mayer, the company’s streaming chief, admitted there could be some “technical glitches.” DownDetector.com, a website that tracks service interruptions and outages, has logged thousands of problems on Disney+ so far today. There was a peak of 8,415 reports around 9am this morning.

While the launch was bumpy, it’s unlikely to impact the success of the service longterm. One somewhat positive side effect of today’s issues for Disney is they make the streaming service appear to be in very high demand. (It very well may be: We’ll know more about subscriber numbers and hours watched in the weeks to come.)

And with so many other streaming options already overwhelming consumers, perhaps all publicity is good publicity for Disney.

view Quartz
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