“We’re going to launch big, and we’re going to launch hot,” Disney head honcho Bob Iger said back in 2017 about the company’s nascent streaming service.
As far as launching hot, though, well, let’s just say there’s a bit more of Disney’s Frozen in how the service is performing than the company or its fans would prefer.
Scores of viewers rabidly awaiting the arrival of The Mandalorian have found themselves waiting a little longer this morning, as “unable to connect’ notices appear on their screens. It’s not a site-wide outage, by any means; many Twitter users are happily reporting a seamless viewing experience.
Considering how much Disney invested in infrastructure just to avoid overpowering its servers on launch day, though, this outcome can only be seen as a failure.
At the time when Iger set expectations for Disney Plus’s launch, back in 2017, he had just made a $1.58 billion investment in a company called BAMTech, gaining a majority stake and eventually renaming it Disney Streaming Services. Born from Major League Baseball Advanced Media, a service founded nearly 20 years ago to assist teams with website creation, BAMTech appeared best poised to deliver glitch-free streaming to many millions of simultaneous viewers.
Disney and its new infrastructure supplier (which the company apparently decided to acquire after considering buying Twitter) had two years to prepare for a potentially overwhelming launch day. All the while, Disney has been aggressively advertising and marketing its vast stores of content to maximize demand for Disney Plus.
Hopefully, more effort went into making The Mandalorian than went into strengthening the company’s servers. Fast Company will know for sure when things stabilize enough to watch it uninterrupted.