Score another one for streaming services. On the heels of a study indicating that customers perceive much more value from video streaming than pay-TV services, a new report [download page] from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reveals that customer satisfaction is considerably higher with video streaming services than with subscription TV services.
The ACSI’s Telecommunications Report 2018 measures customer satisfaction with a variety of service providers on a 100-point scale.
Subscription TV services – such as Verizon FIOS, Spectrum Charter and Comcast Xfinity – emerge with an aggregate customer satisfaction score of just 62, down a couple of points from 64 last year. That aggregate rating is so low that it joins Internet Service Providers (many of the same companies) as the lowest of 46 industries measured.
Not that this is a surprise: pay-TV providers have long maintained low customer satisfaction scores, and simply haven’t improved over the years. Pay-TV providers and ISPs tend to also have the lowest customer experience scores and the worst trust ratings, too.
Although the latest ACSI report finds that customer satisfaction with pay-TV providers is lowest for their call centers and their ability to keep service interruptions to a minimum, it doesn’t measure satisfaction with cost – which is typically linked to pay-TV satisfaction.
Streaming services, though, aren’t suffering quite the same level of dissatisfaction. Measured for the first time this year, video streaming services had an aggregate customer satisfaction rating of 75. Although that is 13 points higher than pay-TV providers, it’s also worth noting that video streaming services were in the bottom quartile of all industries in satisfaction.
Netflix, the most popular video streaming service, leads the way in streaming satisfaction ratings, per the study, with a score of 78. It’s joined at the top by Sony PlayStation Vue and Twitch, with Apple iTunes (77), Microsoft Store (77) and YouTube Red (76) following closely.
To put streaming video services’ dominance over pay-TV providers in perspective, the lowest-rated streaming service (Sony Crackle – 68) was the only one to have a satisfaction score lower than the highest-scoring pay-TV provider (AT&T U-Verse – 70).
Streaming service subscribers are most satisfied with the ease of understanding their bill (80) and with the streaming service’s websites (80), per the report. On the other end of the spectrum, they’re least satisfied with the availability of new movie titles (69) and the availability of a current season’s TV shows (71).
Other Study Highlights
- Video-on-demand services also suffered from low customer satisfaction rates, with a composite score of 68. AT&T U-Verse (74) led among providers, while Charter Spectrum lagged (64) in this group.
- Among internet service providers, Verizon Fios was the winner in customer satisfaction (70), while Mediacom trailed with a satisfaction score of just 54.
- Fixed line telephone services ended up with an aggregate customer satisfaction score of 70, led by Vonage (76) and with Frontier Communications (57) at the bottom.
- Wireless telephone services, for their part, improved by a point to an composite score of 74, with Sprint the laggard (70) after a 3-point decline from last year.
- Cellular telephones were the highest-rated overall in the telecommunications industry, with their score of 79 just below the threshold of excellence. Apple led the way again with a high score of 81, just ahead of Samsung (80), and the iPhone 7 Plus was the highest-rated model (85).
About the Data: The ACSI describes its methodology as follows:
“The ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018 on cellular telephones, fixed-line telephone service, internet service providers, subscription television service, video-on-demand service, video streaming service, and wireless telephone service is based on interviews with 45,292 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between April 19, 2017, and March 17, 2018. Customers are asked to evaluate their recent experiences with the largest telecommunications service providers and phone manufacturers in terms of market share, plus an aggregate category consisting of ‘all other’ — and thus smaller — companies in those industries.
The survey data are used as inputs to ACSI’s cause-and-effect econometric model, which estimates customer satisfaction as the result of the survey-measured inputs of customer expectations, perceptions of quality, and perceptions of value. The ACSI model, in turn, links customer satisfaction with the survey- measured outcomes of customer complaints and customer loyalty. ACSI clients receive confidential industry-competitive and best-in-class data on all modeled variables and customer experience benchmarks.”