Study: US OTT customer satisfaction on the rise

Pay-TV subscribers in the US are growing increasingly satisfied with OTT streaming TV services versus traditional cable TV, but they also are spending nearly an hour more a week watching regularly scheduled television programming than they did two years ago. That increasingly complex consumer relationship with streaming and cable television is explored in detail in a trio of studies from consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics specialist J.D. Power.

The related studies are the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study; the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study; and the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Residential Telephone Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

“Although it seems like the world is consumed with the idea of cord-cutting in the wake of Hulu’s first Emmy and the proliferation of new shows on Netflix and Amazon, the number of current pay-TV customers who plan to cut the cord has actually declined, and the number of hours spent watching old-fashioned, time-slot television is growing,” said Peter Cunningham, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “We’re seeing a trend toward the co-existence of traditional and alternative service providers, with each offering some lessons to the other on how best to drive an increase in customer satisfaction.”

Some of the key findings of the study:

  • Streaming services make gains as traditional TV declines: Customer satisfaction with the overall streaming video service experience (7.91 on a 10-point scale) and performance and reliability (7.97) has slightly improved year over year. Conversely, overall satisfaction with traditional pay-TV services has fallen to 710 this year (on a 1,000-point scale) from 724 last year.
  • Destination TV viewing reaches three-year high: Despite growing satisfaction with streaming video services and widespread use of DVR and video on-demand, the number of hours spent watching regularly scheduled television programs has increased by nearly an hour between 2015 and 2017. In a typical week, households have spent an average of 17.4 hours watching regularly schedule programming this year, up from 16.6 in 2015.
  • Percentage of likely cord-cutters declines slightly: The percentage of customers who say they plan to cut the cord on pay-TV during the next 12 months has declined to 8 per cent this year from 9 per cent in 2016.
  • Mobile app adoption low, but satisfaction high among early adopters: Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of pay-TV customers never watch content from their provider via mobile app, and only 6 per cent say they watch via mobile on a daily basis. However, overall satisfaction with pay-TV providers increases as the frequency that customers use a mobile app to watch their provider’s content increases.
  • Billing errors present challenge and opportunity: Though the incidence of billing errors has steadily decreased over the past five years, hidden fees continue to be the most common billing error by a large margin. Provider efforts to address this have paid off. Billing satisfaction among customers who experienced a billing error and are given an automatic credit or refund slightly exceeds that among customers who did not experience any billing errors (768 vs. 760, respectively).

Provider Rankings

Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study

  • Verizon ranks highest in the East region (737); AT&T/DirecTV ranks highest in the North Central region (699); Charter Spectrum ranks highest in the South region (717); and Cox Communications ranks highest in the West region (706).

Residential Telephone Service Provider Satisfaction Study

  • Verizon ranks highest in the East region (757); AT&T/DirecTV ranks highest in the North Central region (733) and South region (742); and Cox Communications ranks highest in the West region (734).

Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study

  • AT&T/DirecTV performs highest in overall satisfaction in the national segment with a score of 731. As a result of all market share, Verizon was not eligible for the national segment, but does rank highest in the East region (755). DISH Network ranks highest in the North Central region (722) and South region (740). AT&T/DirecTV ranks highest in the West region (726).

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