Following the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, Disney+ has confirmed it will launch with lower overall bitrates when the SVoD service rolls out in the UK and several other key European markets on March 24th.
The move is designed to ease the strain on the Internet during the Covid-19 pandemic as people work remotely during the crisis, and spend more time at home watching online content.
A statement from Kevin Mayer, Chairman of D2C and International at The Walt Disney Company, read: “In line with Disney’s longstanding commitment to act responsibly, we are responding to the request of European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure. In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney+, we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilisation by at least 25 per cent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th. In the coming days, we will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with Internet service providers to further reduce bitrates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand. We look forward to the launch of Disney+ and hope it will provide a much-needed respite for families in these challenging and trying times.”
Meanwhile, the service’s launch in France has been delayed by 2 weeks.
Mayer added: “To our French fans, the Disney+ service is coming, but at the request of the French government, we have agreed to postpone the launch until Tuesday, 7 April 2020.”