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Volume 26 No. 231
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Disney+ Launches As Users Report Multiple Issues With Service

Photo: DISNEY+
Photo: DISNEY+
Photo: DISNEY+

The long-anticipated Disney+ streaming service launched today, and multiple users on social media said that they had "trouble signing in" when it first went live, while others said that they had "problems accessing specific content or using features," according to Todd Spangler of VARIETY. Some users said that they had "very long wait times of an hour or more when they tried to call" Disney+ customer service after being "frustrated at not being able to log in." Ookla's Downdetector.com said that technical problem reports about Disney+ "spiked" after 6:00am ET. About two-thirds of the problems were "related to video streaming," and about one-third were "related to login issues." Some of the glitches "appeared to be device-specific" (VARIETY.com, 11/12). CNBC.com's Palmer & Gomez note Disney reportedly had "prepared to face some system outages on launch day." The company bought BAMTech in '17 and "uses the streaming technology to power Disney+, as well as ESPN+, for the purpose of preventing system outages and buffering" (CNBC.com, 11/12). Disney Chair of Direct-to-Consumer & Int'l Kevin Mayer last week said that these "hiccups were bound to happen" (N.Y. POST, 11/12). Meanwhile, ENGADGET's Igor Bonifacic notes Disney has "delayed the launch of the service in Puerto Rico." The company had said that it "would launch" Disney+ there today, just like on the mainland, but it will now instead "launch one week later" on Nov. 19. It is "not clear if today's issues are related to the delay" (ENGADGET.com, 11/12). 

PRODUCT PLACEMENT: Several media writers noticed that ESPN personalities were promoting the new service on their Twitter feeds. The N.Y. Post's Andrew Marchand tweeted, "ESPN big time reporters are promoting Disney+ on Twitter. 1. ESPN does do journalism, but it also does business. 2. These reporters do journalism, but they also do business. 3. If the company that pays you millions, asks you to promote its top project, not much of a choice." SI.com's Jimmy Traina and The Athletic's Richard Deitsch had an online exchange about the issue, with Traina tweeting, "Can we re-tape pod to talk about espn forcing their people to promote disney?" Deitsch: "We mass-promoted stuff at SI all the time and same with TA. This is just being part of a company, no? maybe just add the #ad?" Traina: "Everybody in this business has to whore stuff out at some point, but you should at least try to do it with a LITTLE bit of self-respect." Deitsch: "This doesn’t bother me" (TWITTER.com, 11/12).