The aforementioned exceptions aside, however, Disney+ content is solid. It was always going to be, and we all more or less knew what we were signing up for (which is less than can be said for Apple TV+). But good content isn’t the only thing that makes a good service. If you can’t use a service the way it’s intended to be used, it’s infuriating. Disney+ had every resource at its disposal to launch with a pristine product. The company didn’t need to rush out something broken or incomplete, but it did.


Again, the sales pitch still sounds good. Every subscription includes unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices, ultra-crisp 4K and HDR viewing, and simultaneous streaming on up to four devices. In other words, Disney+ offers standard many features that Netflix charges a premium for. Downloading content is also pretty simple, and finding it within the app is a breeze.

But Disney+ does lack useful features that make other services great. As with Apple TV+, Disney+ doesn’t give users the power to more effectively curate their recommendations by indicating whether they like or don’t like a specific show or film. The service does have a “Recommended for You” section, and including such a feature would certainly help improve whatever algorithm is interpreting user behavior to spit out suggested content. If you can’t stand musicals, for example, it’ll likely be impossible to totally scrub those suggestions from your feed before you’ve spent a significant amount of time on the platform. It’s all just a jumble at this point.


We recently put the Disney+ bundle top of our list for the best streaming service you can subscribe to if given a choice of only one. Content-wise, I maintain that to be true. It’s clear, however, that Disney+ needs to work on its platform before the service can be great. And if it would get its shit together—given all of its many resources, the sheer volume of its catalog, and the advantages it has over other streaming offerings straight out of the gate—I’m sure it can be.

So the embarrassment might not last forever. Bugs in software design are inevitable and can obviously be fixed. But Disney had all the time and money in the world to beta test its service and work out the kinks. It’s unclear why it would launch Disney+ when it was so clearly unfinished. After all, the new streaming service itself was the whole point.


Update: Added additional information to contextualize the absence of an episode of The Simpsons episode on Disney+.