Disney+ has officially launched in the U.S.... and it's struggling under the load. As is often the case with new streaming services, launch-day bugs and crashes are today plaguing Disney+. This morning, users are reporting error messages when they try to stream content, along with other connection issues, crashes, bugs and more on the service's first day out of the gate. Disney tells us it's working quickly to address the problems, which it attributes to an "incredible response" for its new service.
According to web monitoring site DownDetector, the Disney+ problems began around 6:08 AM EST and there have been thousands of problems reported since. The majority (73%) of the problems being reported have to do with video streaming, while 26% are related to log-in issues.
The East Coast, which is up early trying to stream, is where most reports are coming from at this hour.
All across social media, users are complaining about a variety of issues -- not only with the streaming service itself, but also being able to reach someone in customer support. Unfortunately, calling for help isn't going to solve the problem here -- the service is facing too many connection attempts at the same time, which is a common launch-day problem for streamers.
This is something we've seen time and again. Streaming services tend to crash when there's an influx of users at the same time, whether that's on day one or when there's a popular program airing -- like a football game or, previously, a new Game of Thrones episode.
— Cass McComb (@cassmccomb) November 12, 2019
— Scott Jackson (@ScottJackson79) November 12, 2019
Patience.... I cant even login to my account. To get help I've been on hold for 2 hours what a fucking joke. Patience. I paid for this
— ajg? (@ialeeeeexa) November 12, 2019
@disneyplus It's been over an hour and I'm still on hold. I try to sign in and it says call customer service. Waiting over an hour is ridiculous. You should have anticipated these problems and had enough customer support staff to not have to wait OVER AN HOUR! pic.twitter.com/x9KahIO17J
— Alex Ball (@Atkball) November 12, 2019
Nobody's perfect, but after waiting eagerly for months for @disneyplus I excitedly opened the app while waiting for an appointment, only to find this: #DisneyPlus #DisneyDown
It's not just me, I'm seeing articles already saying that connection issues are a prob for many. pic.twitter.com/aRhsS61ZPh
— Agent Peggy Carter 2020Ⓐ💥 (@AgentCarter_SSR) November 12, 2019
On Twitter, some users are posting the #DisneyDown hashtag along with their tweets about streaming issues. A number of complaints center around issues with playing The Mandalorian, in particular, but it's not the only title affected -- it's just one that many people were trying to watch first.
Meanwhile, others are discussing their tech support problems in a huge thread on Reddit, with some 700+ comments and counting. One valid concern noted here is that people on free trials aren't getting the time they were promised to try out the service, as they couldn't log in or watch today.
It's unclear what, if anything, Disney will do to compensate those users for the lost time. That may depend on how long Disney takes to get Disney+ streaming functional again.
Reached for comment, a Disney+ spokesperson confirmed the company was aware of the problems and is working to address them.
"The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our high expectations. We are pleased by this incredible response and are working to quickly resolve the current user issue," a Disney+ spokesperson said. "We appreciate your patience."
While Disney is spinning launch-day bugs as a badge of honor related to high demand, we don't actually have details yet on how many sign-ups the service has seen, nor do we know how many will add it into their streaming mix in the weeks ahead. Third-party surveys have indicated anywhere from over a million to nearly 2 million subscribers in the U.S., pre-launch. That's commendable, of course, but Netflix still has 60+ million subscribers in the U.S., and 158+ million worldwide, for comparison's sake. Disney+ has a long way to go before it reaches that level.