Disney+ to Launch Across Europe This Week With Reduced Streaming Quality, Launch in France Delayed

Monday March 23, 2020 4:31 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

Disney's premium streaming service, Disney+, will launch across Europe on Tuesday with temporarily degraded video quality, according to Reuters. The measure aims to reduce the burden on the continent's data networks as millions of people switch to working from home.


In a company statement, Disney said it had agreed to a European Union request for streaming-video providers to "ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure."

Anticipating higher consumer demand, the company is instituting measures to "lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th," said Kevin Mayer, head of Disney's Direct-to-consumer and International business.

In addition, the launch of Disney+ has been delayed in France by two weeks on request of the French government. Disney+ will now launch in the country the week of April 7.

Facebook yesterday also committed to downgrade video streaming quality across its social media platforms, including Instagram.

Last week, the European Union asked streaming services to consider temporary reductions in streaming quality due to the abnormally large number of people working from home and taking advantage of streaming services amid the viral outbreak. Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV+, and Amazon all responded to the call.

Currently, streaming content providers have only been asked to lower streaming quality in Europe, so the lower streaming rates do not affect the United States and other countries. The United States has not called on streaming content providers to implement data reduction measures.

It's not clear how long Disney plans to stream with reduced quality and whether tweaks will be made for a better compromise between quality and data usage. Netflix said that it will continue using the lower quality stream for the next 30 days.

Top Rated Comments

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1 week ago


At least here in the UK, most ISPs have released statements that they have plenty of overhead left, even some mobile phone providers, including openreach who owns/operates the majority of the DSL/ADSL/FTTC infrastructure . With BT even staying usage is still below its highest ever figures. There’s me with 384MBps down and stuck with lower quality streams because someone in the EU parliament had a panic attack and instead of consulting ISPs to see if it would actually be an issue, went ahead and used his position to force content providers to lower quality

And there's my trying to do a job working from home, and I couldn't give a damn about some millennials who can't live without 4k video.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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1 week ago
At least here in the UK, most ISPs have released statements that they have plenty of overhead left, even some mobile phone providers, including openreach who owns/operates the majority of the DSL/ADSL/FTTC infrastructure . With BT even staying usage is still below its highest ever figures. There’s me with 384MBps down and stuck with lower quality streams because someone in the EU parliament had a panic attack and instead of consulting ISPs to see if it would actually be an issue, went ahead and used his position to force content providers to lower quality
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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1 week ago
UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Austria is not across Europe!!!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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1 week ago
And so it begins. As far as I'm concerned, I think Disney will crush any competition in the coming years. Regulators should have stopped Disney from aquiring Hulu, ESPN and Fox, now we must live with the consequences.

Online streaming was invented to stop cable bundles, but now it seems we will see streaming bundles for the same high prices very soon.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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1 week ago
Networks in the US said the same thing last week... today AT&T announced they are seeing signs of serious stress... same thing will likely happen in the UK

EU was 100% right to ask companies to consider lowering quality for a while. It’s better to anticipate a potential issue than let the network collapse -whether some trolls here like it or not
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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1 week ago


And there's my trying to do a job working from home, and I couldn't give a damn about some millennials who can't live without 4k video.

Well my wife is working from home as well, has full speed remote connection to her office (as fast as her office can handle) has zero disruption to her workflow, video conferencing etc. Whilst the kids are on a laptop each doing school work, the kitchen stereo is streaming audio, the mrs is streaming audio, and I’ve got either netflix, YouTube or something else on and still have bandwidth to spare. The infrastructure is in place for higher use than the whole country has ever used before. BT reported earlier today that daytime usage across their network is up 60% over standard daytime traffic and below peak evening traffic. The bandwith and connection problems don’t seem to be on the ISP or infrastructure side but in individual users setup not optimised for the higher sustained use. Perhaps congested WiFi and it’s associated interference causing a perceived issue.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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