Today was supposed to be a big day for Disney. The company's highly-anticipated
streaming service, Disney Plus launched this morning. With the most valuable content library of any media company and a plan to capture a huge chunk of the streaming audience, the stakes are high for the company.
One of the reasons people love Disney is because if anything, it has mastered the perception of perfection. Disney is about creating experiences. Whether it's walking through the streets of the Magic Kingdom, or watching your first animated film on the big screen, Disney counts on the connection between our feelings, our memories, and the stories they tell.
In fact, a recent study showed that as many as 40 percent of consumers would sign up for Disney Plus just because the content reminded them of their childhood. But of course, the assumption was that Disney would do for streaming what it has long done for just about everything it touches.
Except that's not exactly what's happened. Instead, fans and customers have had a slightly less than magical experience. It started with the fact that people had a hard time finding the Disney Plus app in the App Store. Then there was the fact that people who logged in kept seeing an error message informing that there "seems to be an issue connecting to the Disney Plus service."
That's pretty disappointing if you bought into the hype and had been waiting to stream all of your favorite Marvel or Star Wars content, including the exclusive series The Mandalorian. It would be like showing up to a theme park, buying your tickets, walking in, and finding all of the rides were out of service. Not exactly a magical kingdom.
Here's the thing: if your brand is Disney, you can't afford to get this wrong. If you've spent millions of dollars promoting a service catering to your most loyal fans, you owe it to them to have worked out the kinks ahead of time. If you pull all of your most valuable content from competing services like Netflix, promising it will be available on your own service instead, you have to deliver.
That's just Branding 101: If you make a promise, you have to keep it. And if you're Disney, your brand is telling amazing stories. In fact, the tag line Disney chose for its service is literally "The best stories in the world. All in one place."
Except now, the story is that Disney launched a service that many of its most loyal fans aren't able to use. Never mind that after promising Disney Plus would be available in Puerto Rico at launch, residents there just found out--without explanation--that they'll have to wait a few more weeks.
It's an especially difficult situation considering Disney isn't actually new at this. It already owns Hulu and ESPN's streaming service. And considering it was giving away a year for free to Verizon's unlimited customers, it had to be expecting a huge surge of signups at launch.
If you're planning to sign up, good luck. You might be better off waiting a day or two until Disney sorts out the issues. Otherwise, you can find the app in the App Store and on Google Play. You can also stream directly at www.disneyplus.com. A monthly subscription is $6.99, or you can sign up for a bundle with Hulu and ESPN for $12.99 per month.