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Disney Streaming Boss Kevin Mayer: App Architecture to Blame for Disney Plus Stumbles

No, it wasn’t Amazon’s fault that Disney Plus struggled following its launch last week: Disney direct-to-consumer chairman Kevin Mayer told the audience of Recode’s Code Media conference in Los Angeles Tuesday that there really wasn’t anyone to blame but Disney’s own technology. “It had we to do with the way we architected the app,” Mayer said. “It was not Amazon.”

Mayer said that the company had been using the same app architecture for previous projects, but that no one really expected to reach 10 million sign-ups in just a few days. “We were very surprised,” Mayer said.

Disney is now working on rolling out fixes, with Mayer saying that a re-architected version of the app would be available within the next week or two.

Mayer said that Disney Plus was also going to add more content for grown-ups to its catalog over time. “It’s really not just for kids,” he said.

At the same time, Disney is bringing some of its edgier content to Hulu: The company announced recently that it would start releasing FX shows the day after episodes air on cable to Hulu. In addition, Hulu will also get past FX shows, and even FX originals produced exclusively for Hulu’s subscribers. “It is a big deal,” Mayer said. “We’ve gonna put the FX brand very prominently on Hulu.”

Mayer admitted that moves like these could entice more consumers to cut the cord, and ultimately ditch Disney’s cable networks in the process as well. “It’s an innovator’s dilemma, for sure,” he said.

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That very dilemma also recently forced Disney to raise the price for Hulu’s live TV bundle by around 20%. While communicating that  price increase, Hulu suggested to some subscribers that they could switch to the service’s on-demand tier if they wanted to save money.

However, Mayer denied that the company was walking away from live TV, like Sony recently did with PlayStation Vue. “We’re not going out of business,” he said. “We’re there to serve our consumers.”

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