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Streaming satisfaction highest when paired with pay-TV

Overall satisfaction with paid streaming video service is highest among cord stackers in the US – customers who subscribe to a traditional cable/satellite service in addition to streaming video service – according to the J.D. Power 2016 Streaming Video Satisfaction Study.

The inaugural study measures overall satisfaction among customers who have used a subscription- or transaction-based streaming video service within the past six months. The study measures customer satisfaction by examining six key measures (listed in order of importance): performance and reliability; content; cost of service; ease of use; communication; and customer service. Scores for each measure are reflected in an index based on a 1,000-point scale.

The study finds that although the number of customers who cut the cord on pay-TV is growing, the majority of streaming video customers still purchase a paid TV service in addition to a streaming video service. Three-fifths (60 per cent) of streaming customers are cord stackers; 23 per cent are cord shavers (those who still subscribe to TV but have downgraded their service package); 13 per cent are cord cutters (those who have recently cancelled TV service); and 4 per cent are cord nevers (those who have never subscribed to pay-TV and only subscribe to streaming video service).

Following are some of the study’s key findings:

Satisfaction Lowest among Cord Cutters: Overall satisfaction is lowest among cord cutters (802), followed closely by cord nevers (807), while satisfaction is highest among cord stackers (826) and cord shavers (822). Satisfaction in all measures is lower among customers who do not have cable/satellite TV than among those who do, with an especially wide gap between the two segments in the content measure (40 points).

Binge-Watching High: Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of customers use a streaming service to binge watch—the act of watching multiple episodes in succession – TV programming. Overall satisfaction is 35 points higher among those who binge watch vs. those who do not (834 vs. 799, respectively). As binge-watching sessions increase in duration, so does overall satisfaction: 823 among those whose most recent session lasted less than four hours; 841 among those whose session lasted 4-8 hours; and 858 among those whose session lasted 8 or more hours.

Television Remains Primary Viewing Device: Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of customers view streaming content through their TV; 55 per cent view content on a laptop/desktop computer; and 48 per cent view content on a mobile device. More than half (56 per cent) of viewers use multiple devices to watch streaming video.

Original Content Viewership Higher among Streaming-Only Subscribers: More than half (54 per cent) of cord nevers and 49 per cent of cord cutters view original content vs. 43 per cent of cord shavers and 41 per cent of cord stackers.

“The streaming video customer experience appears to be stratifying across the different subscriber segments, with pay-TV service still having a major effect on the overall streaming video experience,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director and technology, media & telecom practice leader at J.D. Power. “Part of the reason is demographics. Customers who only stream are younger than those who also have TV. Nearly two-fifths (37 per cent) of customers who only stream are 18-34 years old, compared with 30 per cent of those who also have TV. Notably, 52 per cent of cord nevers are 18-34. Also, streaming-only customers are less likely to use transaction-based streaming services, which perform higher in the content measure.”

Study Rankings
Netflix ranks highest among the streaming video brands included in the study, with an overall score of 829. Netflix leads or ties with the highest score in five of the six measures, performing particularly well in performance and reliability and in customer service. Hulu Plus follows closely at 821, which is 1 point above industry average. Cost of service and communication are strong measures of performance for Hulu Plus.

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