Just when you thought it was safe to binge Avengers, Disney is batting a particularly heinous foe: Hackers who crashed the Disney+ sign-up party on its opening day.
ZDNet reportshackers were on Disney+ like ducks on a June bug, picking off new accounts, changing credentials and selling the accounts online for between $3 and $11, or, sometimes giving them away for free.
Unfortunately, the hacking occurred just as Disney+ launched Nov. 12 amid a hiccup in technology and customer service that made it hard for hacking victims to alert the company to the hacking issues.
Unable to get through to customer service, some users took to Twitter and Reddit to complain and commiserate with others who’d been hacked.
Many of the hacked accounts were for users who pre-paid for two- or three-years.
Disney+ adds more than 10 million accounts in 24 hours
The hacking reports come on the heels of a launch that, while suffering a few lows, for the most part went well. Disney said Disney+ sign-up activity passed 10 million customers son the first day of launch, despite a variety of problems. The service launched in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. Millions of Verizon customers had free access to a Disney+ account and the company offered a plethora of deals to draw customers in early.
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Disney plans to rollout Disney+ in Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico this week (Nov. 19), with a broader expansion to Western Europe in March, 2020.
Analysts expect that, within five years, the service could reach 90 million subscribers.
The bottom line
Disney spent millions of dollars of pre-launch publicity and billions, literally, on the tech to launch the new service. Disney+ is a pillar of the company’s next generation strategy and the company knew — potentially — what it would be facing.
The issues it’s dealing with, more than anything else, are a testimony to just how difficult the streaming business can be.
Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and onLinkedIn