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A survey from independent product-testing organisation Consumer Reports indicates that while most US viewers rely on Netflix, its streaming rivals are considered more satisfying. Although 81 per cent of the ConsumerReports.org subscribers who used a streaming video service in the previous month used Netflix, rival services such as Vudu, Apple iTunes, and Amazon Instant Video all scored higher for overall satisfaction in Consumer Reports’ first comprehensive Ratings of video services.
Streaming video content directly from the Internet is emerging as the preferred choice for video viewing, suggests Consumer Reports. Fifty-two per cent of the 15,277 ConsumerReport.org subscribers polled said they used a streaming video service in the previous month, compared to 47 per cent who saw a movie at a theatre, 43 per cent who rented a DVD or Blu-ray disc, and 32 per cent who used their cable provider’s video-on-demand service.
The biggest gripe with Netflix’s streaming service was its limited selection of movies, especially the latest releases. This is a common problem with all-you-can-watch streaming services, a category that also includes Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. Fewer than one in five survey respondents said that they were highly satisfied with the choice of titles from those services. However, the selection of titles available on pay-per-view streaming services such as Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and Vudu received high marks from more than 60 per cent of users.
“Our survey revealed that a healthy selection of titles is one of the biggest factors in overall satisfaction with video services, which is why disc rental services and pay-per-view streaming services scored the highest in our Ratings,” said Jim Willcox, Senior Electronics Editor, Consumer Reports.
The advantages of discs were clear in the Consumer Reports survey. Netflix’s disc-by-mail service and independent video stores were judged to have a more satisfying selection of titles, including current ones, than even the best streaming services. Redbox kiosks were neck-and-neck with Netflix and independent stores in overall satisfaction, but fell short on selection. Survey respondents were not as impressed with Blockbuster stores, Blockbuster Express kiosks or Blockbuster Total Access disc-by-mail.