As you can see from the Mickey Mouse-shaped disco ball in the photo above, last night Season 31 of Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) premiered on Disney+. This was the first time the streaming service had broadcast a TV show live. With the cases of live TV apps crashing in the sports streaming space (if you’re watching DirecTV!), it’s fair to say that Disney+ felt the pressure to provide subscribers with a smooth streaming experience.
For the most part, the Disney+ live stream of “Dancing with the Stars” had minor hiccups. Aside from a few minor lags and lags, the live stream worked well when we tested it on our Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation 4, Roku, and desktop on Monday night.
But we’re not giving Disney+ a pat on the back just yet.
We also watched the live stream on an iPhone last night and had the same problem. At one point during the premiere, the Disney+ app would fail to load and only see a blue screen with the Disney+ logo.
However, this did not appear to be a widespread problem. A Disney+ spokesperson told TechCrunch, “We have not experienced or seen any spikes or reports of problems on our end.”
While some customers have had issues, it’s important that Disney+ provides a satisfying experience for all mobile users. In April, Sensor Tower found that Disney+ was among the top three most-used mobile streaming apps.
There are also studies that suggest more consumers — particularly young consumers — are using their phones to live-stream content. Data intelligence platform Apptopia reported that 80% of 18-24 year olds, 84% of 25-34 year olds and 55% of 55-64 year olds watch streaming video on mobile devices.
It’s also worth noting that one possible reason Disney+ hasn’t had any major crashes is that there may not have been a large influx of viewers rushing to the streamer to see a nearly 17-year-old franchise that’s been dying in recent years occurred has earned low ratings.
When Disney-owned television network ABC announced it was canceling “Dancing with the Stars” after 30 seasons, the show moved “DWTS” to Disney+ in hopes of attracting more older viewers to the service while also making the show more enticing younger
It’s possible that many “DWTS” fans were disappointed to hear their beloved show was leaving the network. According to Nielsen, the average age of “Dancing with the Stars” viewers is 63.5 years. However, Nielsen previously reported that only 9% of Disney+’s domestic subscriber base is aged 55 and over.
Also, much of the show’s target audience is unlikely to subscribe to the kid-friendly service just to catch a show. Almost 60% of consumers aged 55 to 64 prefer TV broadcasts to streaming.
It’s also doubtful that Dancing with the Stars will appeal to younger Disney+ subscribers. According to Nielsen, 23 percent of the streamer’s subscribers are between the ages of 18 and 34. The same demographic made up the smallest portion of “DWTS” viewers in season 29, with an average rating of 0.95.
It will be interesting to see how “Dancing with the Stars” holds up on a streaming service. No viewership numbers have been reported yet, so it remains to be seen how well last night’s premiere on Disney+ performed.
Regardless of whether Gen Z’ers or Millennials decided to check out the show last night, it’s achingly obvious that “DWTS” is doing its best to be hip. Charli D’Amelio, the 18-year-old TikTok star with over 145 million followers, was this season’s youngest contestant.
Disney+ first tested its live streaming capabilities in February and then with its Harmonious Live! event in June.