Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany play Wanda Maximoff and Vision in Marvel’s “WandaVision”.
Disney’s “WandaVision” is so powerful and popular that it appeared to affect the company’s streaming service on Friday.
Disney + experienced a brief outage early Friday morning, around the time the latest episode of “WandaVision,” a website that tracks reports of Internet service outages, premiered, according to Downdetector. There have also been numerous complaints on social media from frustrated Disney + subscribers. Disney + was up and running again in about 10 minutes. Disney has not commented on the outage.
“WandaVision” is Disney’s first crack in a TV series based on the Marvel franchise. Unlike Netflix, which releases all episodes of a specific TV season at once, Disney + episodes premier weekly, usually every Friday at 3 p.m. ET / midnight PT.
This release schedule encourages rabid fans to stay up late or get up early before spoiling each episode on social media. When most of the world wakes up on Friday morning, what happened in the last episode is already dominating the online conversation.
In short, Disney’s release schedule extends the stamina of a show over several weeks, rather than all at once, like fans through “Bridgerton” or whatever the hot Netflix series of the moment is.
And Disney’s release schedule for Marvel and Star Wars shows on Disney + will ensure the hype repeats virtually every week for the rest of 2021. Disney’s next Marvel show “Captain Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will end a few weeks after the current premiere season of “WandaVision”. After that, the new Marvel show “Loki” will premiere. The pattern is expected to continue through the end of the year when the next round of Star Wars shows is set to begin.
The publishing strategy has paid off for Disney, which is still in the early stages of building a library of original content for Disney +. Disney said last week that Disney + had 94.9 million subscribers in early January. The company predicts up to 260 million Disney + subscribers by 2024.
Disney has a long way to go in building its library of new content. Netflix had several years to do this before Disney + launched. The vast majority of the Disney + library is made up of legacy shows and movies that don’t have the same stickiness as new content.
Currently, Disney can keep its customers on the service week after week with tempting offers from the two most popular franchises, Marvel and Star Wars.