The competition amongst streaming service companies is only getting more intense, according to the 2023 U.S. Streaming Satisfaction survey from Whip Media. The research revealed that the difference between how happy customers are with the various streaming apps available today is shrinking.
Max, Hulu and Disney+ ranked first, second and third place respectively. While the top three services were the same as last year, Disney+’s customer satisfaction dropped from 88% to 85%, allowing Hulu (also owned by Disney) to take second place. Max remained number one, but experienced the largest decline in overall satisfaction – 94% to 88% over the last year.
Satisfaction is gradually declining among big-name streaming platforms, but midtier services are on the rise due to factors like content quality and variety. The survey classified Apple TV+, Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+ as midtier platforms.
For example, after a three-year decline in overall satisfaction, Netflix sits in sixth place despite its signup boom after implementing its new password sharing rules over the summer. On the flip side, NBCUniversal’s streamer Peacock rose from 68% overall satisfaction in 2022 to 74% this year. Apple TV+ also saw an increase in happy customers over the last year and was the favorite service among responders for the quality and variety of its original programs.
Since the subscription explosion in 2020 when most of the world was sequestered indoors, streaming companies have been scrambling to stay profitable and keep customers. Streamers saw numbers drop as viewers returned to (somewhat) normal life. Households that once paid for four to six TV streaming services began cutting back to an average of three. This was due in part to a spike in cost of living and the rising prices of the services themselves.
In response to rising inflation and higher programming costs, streaming companies hiked prices as consumers began tightening belts and reevaluating how many services they wanted to keep.
A canceled subscription is by no means permanent, according to research from Alumna Insights. A whopping 90% of users returned to the terminated service within a year of cancellation. Viewers are also turning to ad-supported video on demand apps to save money. Alumna Insights said discounts and new content were big attractors for users.
Promotions and the buzz around a new movie or show are temporary fixes, especially with Hollywood studios still trying to find common ground with actors on strike, and recovering from the four-month writers strike. With both writers and actors on the picket line, studios quickly felt the strain – especially financially. In addition, the motion picture and sound recording industry lost 17,000 jobs according to an employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Streaming services are here to stay, especially with analysts predicting streaming services becoming more available for traditional linear cable subscribers. In addition, PWC’s Entertainment and Media Outlook report said almost 50 million homes plan to drop cable by 2027.
For now at least, streaming services will continue to navigate uncertain terrain.