presale demand Tuesday knocked out the the Disney fan-club website offering discounted preorders for the Disney streaming service launching Nov. 12. The outage of the D23 website, which acted as the entry point for the deal, lasted about three hours.
Disney said the outage occurred because of an unexpected surge in traffic for a discounted presale offer for Disney Plus, the streaming video service that Disney is launching to compete with the likes of Netflix. The “Founders Circle” deal significantly cut the price of the service if you commit to a three-year subscription.
The D23 site and the Disney Plus service itself don’t share backend technology, so one of them crashing under heavy traffic doesn’t necessarily presage bandwidth problems for the other. And the offer was mostly targeted at Disney fan-club members, the people most likely to flood the company with interest.
The “Founders Circle” deal essentially gives you one year of the service free if you pay for two years. It works out to be $140.97 total, or the equivalent of $3.92 a month, compared with the $7-a-month price if you don’t make a long-term commitment.
Disney Plus is the highest-profile example of traditional Hollywood digging in to compete as streaming becomes a growing consumer demand. With tech giants pouring money into their own TV shows and movies and luring consumers away from traditional pay TV, Disney is aiming to create a single streaming hub for all of its family-friendly content to complement its other services like Hulu catering to adult-oriented programming and ESPN Plus specializing in sports.