Disney+ launch day marred by tech challenges

Technical difficulties proved to be a fly in the ointment for Disney+, whose highly anticipated Tuesday (12 November) launch was a no-go for thousands of subscribers.   

According to the website DownDetector.com, which monitors service outages and complaints across various providers and platforms, around 8,415 complaints were clocked around mid-day on 12 November with most centred on streaming difficulties.

Users trying to watch Disney+ originals such as Star Wars drama The Mandalorian were perplexed to find “network error” messages that prevented them from accessing the shows.

Hotspots for problems were concentrated on the East and West coasts of the US, as well as the Netherlands – both of which were launch markets for the service. In Canada, the third launch market, the scale of the tech glitches seems to have been relatively limited.

Within hours, Disney+ support released a statement reading: “The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our high expectations. We are working to quickly resolve the current user issue. We appreciate your patience.”

Elsewhere, according to CNBC, Puerto Rican users who had pre-ordered the service and were trying to access the platform were told they would need to wait one more week.

While Disney initially planned a US-wide launch – which includes Puerto Rico – for 12 November, the market will now go live only on 19 November.

Despite the technical glitches and delayed roll-out, Disney’s fledgling streaming service and its slate of originals – particularly The Mandalorian – has been met with critical acclaim. The launch swept social media, with countless North American users praising the vast array of content on the platform.

The service is expected to have secured more than 100m subscribers by 2025, according to Digital TV Research.

Launching with over 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes, Disney+ is competitively priced at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. Disney originals such as flagship drama The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and the live action remake of Lady & The Tramp are all on offer.

Series and movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the highest grossing film of all time, Avengers: Endgame, are also available, plus content such as The Simpsons, James Cameron’s Avatar, both of which were acquired in the $71bn 21st Century Fox deal, and the first 4K versions of the original Star Wars trilogy.

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