'Historic' Disney+ streaming launch marred by glitches
LOS ANGELES - AFP
Disney flung open its vast archive with the arrival of its much-hyped new television streaming service Nov. 12, but the big launch was marred by glitches which prevented many customers accessing titles from Mickey Mouse cartoons to Star Wars.
The introduction of Disney Plus marks a huge bet by the media-entertainment giant, pitching it into direct conflict with on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime which have disrupted the Hollywood media landscape.
It went live overnight on televisions, tablets and smartphones across the United States and Canada, featuring thousands of movies and TV episodes from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and National Geographic.
Disney chief Bob Iger called the launch "a historic moment for our company that marks a new era of innovation and creativity." But after a series of posts on social media from users unable to watch, Disney acknowledged problems with the rollout, saying it was due to strong demand.
"The consumer demand for Disney Plus has exceeded our high expectations," the company said in a statement. "We are pleased by this incredible response and are working to quickly resolve the current user issue. We appreciate your patience." The real-time web monitoring service Downdetector reported at least 8,000 problems accessing Disney Plus by 1400 GMT.
Dozens of Twitter users posted messages about the glitches, some using images of the Disney film "Ralph Breaks the Internet," or the hashtag #DisneyPlusFail.
Others complained of long wait times trying to contact technical support.
Excited fans had stayed up until the small hours to be among the first to watch "The Mandalorian," a new live-action Star Wars television series which is among a handful of Disney Plus exclusives available at launch.