Disney’s new streaming service, Disney Plus, officially launched yesterday. The Verge reports that more than 10 million people signed up for the service on its first day. The article also confirms that one of the app’s biggest draws is the new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. At present, 3.2 million people and counting have tuned in to the series’ first episode.
Given Disney’s popularity and the amount of content in their opening day library — which includes properties from Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, Pixar, classic Disney, and Disney Channel — these numbers aren’t terribly surprising. Still, they do widely surpass the already high expectations for the streamer.
The Verge clarified why these numbers are so astounding, citing an article written by Variety earlier this year.
“To put everything into additional context, analysts projected that Disney+ would have anywhere between 10-18 million subscribers in its first year. Disney has signed up more than half of those projected numbers in 24 hours.”
What makes the high amount of subscribers even more shocking is that the app experienced numerous technical difficulties throughout its launch day. Many users took to social media to express their disappointment at the high amount of buffering, lags, and various other error messages.
The Late Show host, Stephen Colbert, jokingly tweeted that his “favorite Disney+ show so far is Buffering.”
Still, the allure of a brand-new big-budget Star Wars project is too strong for most franchise fans to ignore, even in spite of technical troubles. The new series stars Pedro Pascal as a lone gunman/bounty hunter braving the New Republic. In terms of the overarching Star Wars chronology, The Mandalorian takes place after the fall of the Empire, but before the First Order rises to power.
We can assume that even more people have tuned in since The Verge article was published. Both the app and the series will likely see another huge boom of activity over the weekend when people aren’t tied up in work and have the chance to check it out properly.
“Count me a fan of #themandalorian…. Hooked. Cannot wait to see what happens next,” one fan tweeted after watching the first episode.
“#TheMandalorian is Very Good. So good. Like, really, truly good. That is my expert review,” said another user.
At this time, it’s not yet clear how other Disney Plus originals have fared in terms of viewership. The streaming service also released a live-action Lady and the Tramp adaptation, a new Christmas movie called Noelle, a series based on High School Musical, and various other projects.