What a difference a year makes. When we released a similar analysis in 2021, Netflix was among the leading SVODs in customer satisfaction and was the runaway leader as the indispensable streaming service. The platform was at the top of its game, enjoying a lead it built in an environment of minimal competition. But, after a period of remarkable growth that was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the SVODmarketplace has matured. Consumers started comparing Netflix’s content with that of its new competitors, took into account its recently increased prices, and the perception of the service took a hit. Perception materiality on April 19, 2022, when Netflix announced a net loss of 200,000subscribers worldwide, including over 600,000 in the US/Canada region1.Wall Street erased a third of the company’s value in one day. As a result, observers re-evaluated the company’s future, as well as the subscription video business as a whole.
Meanwhile, rival services HBO Max and Disney+ have solidified their already favorable positions in consumers’ minds, and at lower price points than Netflix’s. Apple TV+ has made the greatest gain in satisfaction, built on the success of its original series, though it still trails most of the SVODsin overall satisfaction. While the industry sorts out how to make subscription videos on demand profitable, there is no doubt that the consumer continues to demand VOD. However, the marketplace is dynamic, and consumers often cancel one subscription while acquiring another. Whip Media surveyed nearly 2,500 users of our TV Time app in the USto uncover their satisfaction with, and perceptions of, these services. Satisfaction as a metric is more sensitive than just looking at subscriber counts. After all, many people stay with a service for a time, even if they are less than happy before they cancel. Many have speculated about why the consumer may have behaved a particular way, but these results put specific weight on these platforms’ elements, revealing why users are, or are not, churning. This is especially relevant for Netflix, as the causes of their recent losses, and projected ones, are put into clear focus. The results are instructive for all, though, as understanding how consumers view their offerings is key to succeeding.
HBO Max Cements Its Lead As The Most Satisfying SVOD, Netflix Falls
HBO Max has the highest satisfaction (very satisfied plus satisfied) among the major SVOD platforms. In 2021, HBO Max also led on this question, but it now has a higher margin of victory. Netflix ranked a very close second last year but fell to fourth on the list, due to a 10-point decline, the most significant in the survey. Apple TV+ made the strongest move to the upside, increasing 14 points satisfaction. Last year it was the lowest-performing service on this measure; it has now moved ahead of Amazon, Discovery+, and Peacock.
Netflix Users Less Likely To Keep The Service Than Last Year, Apple TV+ More Likely
Most SVOD users plan to hold onto their services but across a range of likelihoods. Like last year, HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney+ form the top tier on this question. Amazon is there too, but given their lower satisfaction scores, this likely has much to do with other benefits of Prime membership. Netflix saw the biggest decline, a 12-point decrease. It was top of the list last year but is now ranked fifth. Apple TV+ made the strongest gain, up 19 points.
Variety Of Programming
HBO Max leads in satisfaction with variety for every content category, with Disney+ close behind. Netflix’s variety of originals earns them a more competitive position than on quality, but it still lags behind HBOMax and Disney+ on library and movies.
Hulu’s library is again competitive with the leaders’, while Apple TV+is far behind everyone. Amazon is again unimpressive on all three types of content, despite its large amount of titles. It ranks behindDiscovery+ for a variety of series (originals or library). Discovery+’s brand is narrower than Amazon’s, so this result should be of particular concern to Amazon. It is also noteworthy that Paramount+ and Peacock, both backed by major Hollywood studios, rank rather low on satisfaction with their variety of movies.
User Experience / Program Suggestions
Despite faltering on content satisfaction measures, Netflix is clearly the best in the breed for both user experience and suggesting content subscribers. It is somewhat surprising that Amazon, the most experienced streamer after Netflix, ranks near the bottom on both of these aspects. Given their data-driven focus, one might expect their recommendation engine would rank higher than most. It stands to reason that, given their large amount of content, their satisfaction scores could increase with some improvement in this area.
User satisfaction % for major streaming services:
- HBO Max – 94%
- Disney+ – 88%
- Hulu – 87%
- Netflix – 80%
- Paramount+ – 79%
- Apple TV+ – 76%
- Amazon – 72%
- Discovery+ – 72%
- Peacock – 68%
Source: Whip Media