Just ahead of Disney+ launching in the United States and Canada on November 12th, Disney launched its new streaming service in the Netherlands this month as a trial.

The trial is free of charge until the official launch on November 12th and offers a limited portfolio of library content and is intended to serve as a technology trial.

Many members of our Disney Plus Facebook Group have asked “Why the Netherlands?” and our Dutch members explained that they have great internet and being a small compact country, it made a good test area for Disney.

And now the Hollywood Reporter has shared some details on why.

“It is essentially a huge beta trial; rather than doing a test run with a few thousand homes in the U.S., Disney is testing its service on a whole country,”

Said David Sidebottom of London-based analysts Futuresource.

“We are small and densely populated and we have just around 7.5 million households in the whole country, so no matter how popular Disney+ is, Disney’s servers won’t get overloaded.   And the technical infrastructure is great.”

Said Sanne de Bruyckere, a market researcher with Dutch group Telecompaper.

And with internet penetration in the Netherlands sitting at 98 percent, it means the majority of the country has access to Disney+, this is compared to 82 percent in the U.S.

Another issue is legacy streaming rights, as the Netherlands has less issues than other countries in Europe, which is why they have more Marvel movies than the US and also includes recent titles like Mary Poppins Returns.  Dave Sidebottom added:

“Which territories get Disney+ first will come down to legacy rights, in many places Disney content is still locked up in licensing deals with Netflix or other broadcasters. The international staggering of the SVOD roll out will largely be dictated by rights availability.”

And Fred Black of Ampere Analysis also explained:

“The country has a very high proportion of English speakers, and most of them watch content in the original [language] with subtitles.  If you want to test to see how English-language content can translate to an international audience, the Netherlands is a good test case.”

While it might be frustrating for users outside the Netherlands to feel that others are accessing Disney+ early and for free, this trial is providing vital information to the Disney Streaming Services team.

Are you excited for the launch of Disney+ ?

Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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  1. Tom Zjaba September 30, 2019

    While this makes perfect sense to do a test run in the Netherlands, I think Disney missed a golden opportunity by not offering it at their hotels. If they offered it free at any Disney World hotels, they could build some buzz for it with an audience that would be very receptive to it. Think how many kids would be asking their parents to subscribe when they get home. And they could offer one of their deals for people who want to subscribe.