Disney+ launches to a wave of technical issues

Walt Disney Company

Disney today launched its Disney+ streaming service, its answer to the other TV content platforms out there, after teasing the service for over a year, and promising to open the company’s bountiful vault to users. Now Disney+ is in the wild, and users can sign up for a free trial, purchase subscriptions, and start watching the hundreds of movies and shows available there.

Well, they should be able to. Unfortunately, the launch is already in trouble.

Specifically, many of the first adopters are running into error messages upon launch. According to DownDetector, the problems range from the streams not working to login issues.  The service refuses to work on some devices, but does work on others — but not always the same devices. Needless to say, potential users aren’t happy, and they’re expressing their discontent quite loudly.

And it’s not just that there were problems. When some users attempted to contact Disney support about the issue, they were allegedly met with either unhelpful hold music or were hung up on.

Disney issued a statement on Twitter admitting the launch “exceeded our highest expectations,” and said that it was “working quickly to resolve any current issues.”

It’s not a huge surprise that there are technical difficulties — they tend to happen a lot with a launch of this caliber. It’s just kind of… disappointing, I suppose. For those of us eagerly signing up for the free trial, hitting a technical error is quite the roadblock. And it’s not as though this is some nascent startup who don’t have the right tech for the job: this is Disney, a company whose coffers you’d assume are big enough to just throw straight at this problem. According to the Wall Street Journal, Disney’s already invested in a streaming tech company called BamTech to handle the nitty gritty — one would have hoped they had this on lock, but as the man says, you can’t always get what you want.

Note that not everyone is having problems — I was able to watch the first episode of The Mandalorian with no immediate issues. The technical difficulty tweets are equal in quantity to the ones expressing joy at watching childhood favorites — several viewers have already binged whole shows and I’m willing to bet at least one parent has plunked their little moppet down in front of the tube to watch the entire Disney Princess collection.

If you want to sign up for the service now, visit the Disney+ website and roll the dice.

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