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Walt Disney has sent out a press release confirming the launch of Disney+ in the EU. The company said it would be launching the service in the EU on 24th March 2020 but will be reducing the stream quality. This comes just days after Amazon, Apple, Netflix and YouTube announced their intentions to reduce the stream quality in the EU to reduce the strain on the internet. Moreover, Walt Disney also confirmed the launch delay in France until April 7.
The decision to delay the launch in France was made by the French government. For the EU countries, the service will be available on 24th but will be following other streaming companies to reduce the strain on the infrastructure. Since many companies are asking workers to stay at home, tech companies have seen a rise in internet usage. This has prompted streaming companies to reduce the quality to take off the burden from the internet infrastructure. It’s not clear when the quality will be restored back but for now, you won’t be able to enjoy the Lion King in 4K.
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% 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.
– Kevin Mayer, Chairman, Direct-To-Consumer & International