If You’re Going to Do Something, Do It Right – Disney Shutting Down Web Movie Service

It appears that Disney has announced they will be discontinuing their Web movie service as of December 31, 2012. What is the reason behind the decision? Some reports say it’s because the site didn’t attract enough customers. What is surprising to Alertra, however, is that the site wasn’t equipped to support the customers it did have, let alone an increased volume of subscribers. What would Disney have done if the Web movie service had been a huge success? Chances are there would be thousands upon thousands of unhappy Disney Web movie service subscribers venting their frustrations to the world.

What the Disney Web Movie Service Offered

The Disney Move Web service website allowed customers to buy and rent movies from the Disney library, including films by Pixar. The site also allowed customers who had purchased physical DVDs to stream movies from the site to their streaming media devices. Have a crabby toddler in the back of the car screaming that they can’t watch the DVD that you left at home? Simply hand them your iPhone and let them watch the movie streaming right to your mobile device. Unfortunately toddlers everywhere will have to learn to cope without such conveniences as the site will no longer be in operation at the end of this year.

What’s the Real Reason for the Shut Down?

There are two stories being given by Disney for the discontinuation of the service. One is that the service couldn’t keep up with customer demand. The other is that there wasn’t enough demand for the service. The only thing the two reasons have in common is the actual word “demand”. After all, not being able to keep up with demand and not having demand are two very different things.

If the official Disney statement is true and the site is being discontinued because it couldn’t keep up with demand, it’s sad to think that a company that was built upon innovation and imagination can’t utilize today’s technologies to meet the demands that customers place on a successful website.

Another Lesson to Be Learned

We seem to learn a lot of lessons by watching big-name corporations and the mistakes they make in their online endeavors. It’s hard to believe that the Disney service wasn’t drawing enough visitors. Disney itself is admitting that the site couldn’t keep up with the demand of users, which brings us to our lesson…

If you’re going to do something, do it right. If you’re going to be offering your customers streaming media and other data-intensive service, make sure the site you build can keep up with the demand it generates. Think big. If you don’t, your idea, no matter how great it is, will be likely to fail as customers get frustrated with the technical difficulties you encounter and you find yourself having to rebuild your web-based service from the ground up – or ditch it altogether as Disney has done.