Disney fans are scrambling to find a way to watch the company's new streaming service in the UK and elsewhere.
The long-awaited release date of Disney+ has finally arrived, allowing those in the US, Canada and the Netherlands to watch its vast library of content. That library includes 'The Mandalorian', the show that marks the latest in the Star Wars series.
But for the rest of the world, it's not quite so easy. Users outside of the three countries where the service initially launched – and, from next week, in Australia and New Zealand – are entirely locked out.
That is leading people in the UK and elsewhere to search for a way around it in vast numbers. Searches for "how to watch Disney+ in the UK" have soared, according to Google Trends, and are vastly outranking even search for other streaming services like Netflix.
Sadly, there is no easy solution for those people looking for a way around Disney+'s content restrictions. The service is locked to ensure that only people really in the country can get onto it.
In similar situations in the past, it has been possible to use a virtual private network, or VPN, to make streaming services think that a computer is located in another country and get access to its library.
But Disney+ requires anyone trying to register to have a US account tied to an American credit card, too, despite the fact it offers a free trial for the first week. That means that just using a VPN is not enough to sign up.
The lack of availability could also lead to a rise in illegal streams and torrents, too, as customers try and find a way around the restrictions. Google Trends shows users looking for free streams from Disney+ already, despite it only having been available for a few hours.
Disney+ will not arrive in the UK until 31 March, 2020, and shows like 'The Mandalorian' will not be available until then. Disney also noted that titles could vary across the different countries in which the service is available.
Disney costs $6.99 in the US, and is likely to cost roughly the same in pounds when it launches in the UK. It can be watched on just about any streaming hardware, from Android or iPhones to gaming consoles and devoted streaming boxes like the Amazon Fire series.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies