Nowadays, there seem to be video streaming services for everything from network originals to modern classics. There are so many options available, it’s not uncommon for consumers to experience “streaming fatigue,” a frustration due to needing to subscribe to multiple services in order to watch all desired content.
As review resources like Yelp and Google become oversaturated with negative feedback, credible sources like the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) become trusted measures of the consumer experience.
The ACSI conducts the only national cross-industry measure of satisfaction in the U.S. and includes feedback from almost 300,000 consumers. Telecommunications industries are evaluated on several components of service and whether or not customers are happy with their subscriptions.
Luckily for cord cutters, the video streaming industry is booming and making vital improvements year after year.
Top video streaming services by customer satisfaction
The ACSI assigns a numerical score of 0 to 100 to seventeen popular video streaming services based on customer feedback. A score is also given to an “All Others” category, which encompasses smaller or lesser-known services. Here’s how some of your favorite on-demand and cable-replacement streaming services scored from April 2018 to March 2019:
- Netflix – 79/100
- Sony PlayStation Vue – 78/100
- Microsoft Store – 77/100
- Amazon Prime Video – 76/100
- Apple iTunes – 76/100
With a score of 76/100, industry favorite, Hulu, earned spot #6, while CBS All Access and Google Play came in 7th and 8th place with scores of 75/100.
Overall, the video streaming service industry received a 76/100, a 1.3% increase from the previous year. Netflix earned the highest score of 79 out of 100 (1% increase), while Sony PlayStation Vue and Microsoft Store placed second and third with scores of 78 and 77. Surprisingly, top on-demand services like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu barely scored in the top five with an overall score of 76/100.
Despite lower numbers earned by big-name premium networks like HBO and cable-replacement services like Sling TV, video streaming services earned the highest overall average out of all five telecommunications industries, including TV, fixed-line telephone, internet and video-on-demand.
“Video streaming once again proves itself to be the best of the telecom industries in customer satisfaction. Traditional telecom providers have tried to step up their game, but they’re not providing original content the way video streaming is, and in part they suffer guilt by association — if customers aren’t satisfied overall with Comcast, they’re probably going to ding Comcast’s on-demand service too,” says David VanAmburg, Managing Director at the ACSI.
How are streaming services ranked?
Each year, the ACSI collects data from thousands of consumers in order to rank 400 companies in 46 different industries. Metrics vary by industry and are added or removed based on service features and trends. This year, the ACSI included “Quality of mobile app” and “Reliability of mobile app” in the evaluations for video streaming services. Take a look at some other benchmarks that were scored.
Streaming industry trends to watch
Netflix reigns supreme
Video streaming services as a whole have found a way to improve upon many pitfalls of traditional telecom companies. But when it comes to which one is doing it best, it’s the OG subscription service, Netflix, that comes out on top.
After sharing the top spot with Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Amazon Twitch in 2018, Netflix pulled ahead with a customer satisfaction score of 79/100 (a 1% increase). Thanks to a highly successful focus on new content, Netflix also took the top spot in original programming ahead of heavy hitters like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and even HBO.
As more and more niche streaming services debut, it’s unclear whether or not Netflix will be able to hang on to their hard-earned lead in the industry. But with record-breaking subscriber growth, the service has certainly made a name for itself as the one to watch and a necessary subscription.
Streaming services are improving in all areas except their call centers
The streaming industry has steadily improved overall performance and reliability, quality of content, bill payment comprehension and more. However, subscribers report a decrease in call center satisfaction from 2018 (1% decrease).
So, why are video streaming services advancing every aspect of service except for the call center experience? One could look to higher scoring industry benchmarks for a simple answer.
Quality/reliability of mobile app and website satisfaction are a few of streaming’s highest scoring features. This feedback could indicate an industry-wide shift from a call center-based customer service interaction to one that’s automated and takes place via the internet or mobile app.
Video streaming services surpass traditional telecom
Out of all five telecom industries surveyed, video streaming services scored the highest average score of 76/100, while traditional services, like internet and TV, tied for the lowest score of 62.
Overall, the video streaming industry stands out from standard telecom services thanks to quality (84/100) and reliability (82/100) of its mobile apps. Subscribers also found streaming websites and bill payment easier to comprehend and follow when compared to satellite and TV providers.
“Streaming services don’t have the hidden fees and six-month rates that subscription TV does, not to mention they’re cheaper and simpler,” says VanAmburg.
Check out a full breakdown of how video streaming compared to other telecom industries from 2018-2019.
See the full ACSI report to take a look at how all your home service providers scored and get insights into industry trends to look forward to next year.