Disney says its app architecture caused Disney+ launch-day problems


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With 10 million people signed up to the Disney+ streaming service in just a few days, it seems the company wasn’t expecting to reach such high numbers. Many new subscribers were unable to login on launch day, and streaming proved difficult for those that could.

Speaking at ReCode’s Code Media conference in Los Angeles yesterday, Disney direct-to-consumer chairman Kevin Mayer said of the launch-day issues: “It had to do with the way we architected the app. It was not Amazon.”

The revelation comes despite Disney previously saying it was prepared for a large launch day. The company is now rolling out fixes, which includes addressing other glitches, and a re-architected version of the app will be available in a week or two.

Separately, Mayer said that Disney+ would be adding more content aimed at grown-ups in time. “It’s really not just for kids,” he said.

As noted by The Verge, Disney+ runs on BAMTech technology, which has proved to be reliable over the years. And while Mayer said the tech has dealt with large streams in the past, the amount of traffic during the Disney+ launch was unprecedented.

“We’ve never had demand like we saw that day and what we’re continuing to see,” Mayer said. “There were some limits to the architecture that we had in place were made apparent to us that weren’t before.”

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Do companies not perform user acceptance training and quality assurance anymore?
User testing isn’t relevant here, they needed performance tests. Performance tests would let them know the capacity of any given system but when launching a brand new system you never know how many users will actually sign up and use it. This isn’t a trivial problem for QA or any part of a tech team to solve.
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