Disney has delayed the launch of its Disney+ streaming service by two weeks in France. This is as a result of a request by the French government.
Disney has also agreed to a European Union request for streaming video providers to scale back streaming quality by “at least” 25%. This is to “ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure” at a time when the internet faces the strain of more heavy traffic while people are stuck home due to the coronavirus crisis.
Disney’s streaming service is due to launch in the U.K. and key markets in Europe on March 24. In France, it will now launch on April 7. It’s not clear whether similar delays will hit other European markets.
YouTube, Amazon Prime video, and Netflix have already said that they will be lowering streaming video quality in Europe. Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 threat, it’s not yet possible to forecast when these reduced quality streaming measures will cease.
Disney+ launched in the U.S. in mid-November. Since then, it has proven impressively popular with users. In the first week, Disney+ racked up 10 million paying customers. This increased to 26.5 million users by the end of 2019. As of February, Disney+ had around 28.6 million subscribers.
If that same Disney+ popularity proves true for Europe, it’s no wonder regulators would be worried about the potential impact of its forthcoming European launch!