THE NEXT BIG THING in streaming, Disney+, suffered outages on its launch day as demand for the service became too much for servers.
Arguably the biggest of the upcoming entrants to the crowded marketplace, Disney+ went live in the USA on Tuesday, but almost immediately customers began complaining that they couldn't get online.
Disney said on Twitter that the launch had "exceeded our highest expectations" as subscribers hoping to bask in a world of Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm goodness were instead greeted by an error message featuring Pixar character Wreck-It Ralph.
Down Detector shows problems started pretty much at launch, with over 8,000 reports of outages in a single 15-minute on Tuesday morning, before dwindling as the day went on.
Although Disney says that it has fixed the issues, there were 2,500 reports in the first hour after close-of-business, suggesting that there are still some capacity issues on the service once more and more subscribers got home for a box set binge of The Mandalorian, the Star Wars spin-off series which is amongst the jewels in the service's crown.
It's a less than auspicious start for Disney+ which is currently only available in the USA, Canada, and for some reason, The Netherlands. It will reach the United Kingdom, France and Germany in spring 2020. The company has an estimated break-even point of 60 million subscribers worldwide, which would mean it will need to attract viewers in similar numbers to more established services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Minnow-Brit rival Britbox launched on home turf last week to a lukewarm response. It's not known what its break-even point will be, but it's likely to be a fraction of that of Disney+.
Several US networks are launching flagship streaming services in 2020, along with several other global services from the likes of Discovery, which has signed an agreement to stream documentary content from Auntie Beeb, which won't form part of Britbox's offering. μ
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