When Disney’s chief executive, Robert A. Iger, announced the entertainment giant’s bold venture into the streaming wars, he made a lofty promise: “We’re going to launch big, and we’re going to launch hot.”
Two years later, the official debut of Disney Plus, the new streaming platform heralded as the future of Disney’s empire, has gotten off to a bit of a chillier start than expected.
On Tuesday, nearly 500 films and 7,500 TV episodes — including widely anticipated new offerings like the live-action Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” — were set to start streaming on the service. Instead, many subscribers on Twitter reported a different visual on their screens: an error message, accompanied by a perplexed astronaut Mickey or a morose Wreck-It Ralph.
Happy #DisneyPlus day… pic.twitter.com/7A6007OyoB
The problem appeared to affect multiple platforms, with users on Twitter posting screenshots of the error image on iPhones and complaining of issues on Android and Amazon Fire devices.
“The consumer demand for Disney Plus has exceeded our high expectations,” a Disney Plus spokeswoman said in an email. “We are pleased by this incredible response and are working to quickly resolve the current user issue. We appreciate your patience.”
More than 8,000 Disney Plus subscribers appeared to be affected by the outage around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, according to downdetector.com. For others, the platform appeared to be working just fine.
Tuesday’s launch in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands has been heavily marketed across most branches of the company, with buses at Disney World and live broadcasts on ABC singing the praises of the $7 a month service. The platform boasts new and old content from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, and 30 seasons of “The Simpsons.”
It’s unclear how or if Tuesday’s technical issues will affect the rest of the company’s rollout around the world: Disney Plus was set to debut in Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico on Nov. 19, with countries across Western Europe able to start streaming in March 2020.
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