Disney officially released its own video streaming platform, Disney+ (sometimes known as “Disney Plus”), late last year. Since then, millions of people in North America, Australia, and a few other countries have subscribed to the streaming service. However, a large section of the global community still can’t access Disney’s library of content since Disney+ is not available worldwide. While VPNs make it possible to watch Disney+ content in any country, people are still wondering why Disney+ hasn’t gone global.
Where Is Disney+ Currently Available?
As of May 2020, Disney+ is available in approximately 22 countries and territories, including the United States, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, and India. However, when the service was first released in November of 2019, there were just three countries on that list (the US, the Netherlands, and Canada). As you can see, Disney+ is growing its list of member countries, but some of the planet is still left out of the mix.
Why Hasn’t Disney+ Gone Global?
Much like Netflix did during its initial release, Disney+ has decided to roll out its platform in waves. Most of Europe is expected to get Disney+ by the summer, with parts of Asia and Latin America following later this year. Although many markets have been accommodated much earlier than planned, and expected hits like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are premiering as much as three months earlier than planned (May 4—“May the 4th be with you…”), this still begs the question: why hasn’t Disney+ gone completely global?
Some ISP’s cannot handle the traffic
Earlier this year, much of Europe was to be included in the rollout of Disney Plus. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus crisis, internet service providers already had strained networks. To prevent widespread crashes, as US users experienced in November of 2019, the launch was delayed.
Disney Wants to Study the Data
The answer is a little complex. Disney+ did its first test run in the Netherlands before its official release last year. This allowed the company to gather data and have a better idea of how the platform would be received by users. This is important to Disney because Disney+ is one of the biggest investments that the company has taken on in recent years.
Additionally, Disney+ is entering a market that is already dominated by Netflix and a few other popular streaming platforms. As a result, Disney decided to release its platform in small waves. This allowed the company to see how its own streaming platform performed against the competition before releasing it to a larger audience.
Putting Off the Global Release Makes Fiscal Sense
Offering the Disney+ platform in small waves is a sound business strategy. It makes consumers feel like Disney+ is a hot commodity that is in limited supply. This builds anticipation, causing more people to want to sign up by the time the platform arrives in their location.
Some Countries Limit Access to Video Streaming Services
Finally, certain countries (like China) have complex laws and strict regulations on how their citizens can use the Internet. This makes it difficult or even impossible for companies like Disney to make their streaming platforms available in certain locations. So, even once Disney+ goes global and becomes available around the world, there are still certain countries in which people will only be able to access the service with the help of a VPN.
The Big Picture & A Teachable Moment
Despite being one of the newest video streaming platforms to hit the market, Disney+ is extremely popular. That said, many people around the world still won’t have access to Disney’s huge library of content without the help of a VPN. As time goes on, Disney will continue to expand the Disney+ network, but it may take years before they go completely global.
Lastly, a teachable moment for your preschooler or child of any age. Did you know that Disney+ is geospecific? If you stream Disney+ “from another country” both the language and accent will change. This can be a fun way to introduce your child to another language. Admittedly, how many times can you take your child watching Frozen in English?