INTERNATIONAL - Walt Disney Co’s long-awaited debut in the streaming media wars on Tuesday was hit with technical glitches that the company said were caused by higher-than-expected demand as it takes on rival Netflix Inc.
It was unclear how many people successfully signed up and how many had difficulty accessing the $7-a-month Disney+, which features roughly 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes from the company’s deep family entertainment catalog as well as new programming.
But investors appeared to welcome the comment that interest had topped Disney’s forecasts. Disney shares rose about 1.2 percent to $138.48, while Netflix dropped 1.2 percent to $290.58 in afternoon trading.
“The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our highest expectations. ... we are aware of the current user issues and are working to swiftly resolve them,” Disney said in a statement.
Some people who tried to access the service were greeted by an image of Mickey Mouse on a blue screen, with a message asking them to exit the app and try again. Many others had trouble finding the Disney+ app in Apple’s App Store.