Netflix drags in customer satisfaction thanks to lack of content

Michelle Clancy | 30-07-2012

Although 81% of the 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, according to Consumer Reports' first comprehensive ratings of online video services.

Justifying Netflix et al's focus on content licencing, consumers' biggest issue with online streaming is the selection: Fewer than one in five survey respondents said that they were highly satisfied with the choice of titles from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. However, the selection of titles available on transactional video on demand (VOD) services such as Amazon Instant Video, iTunes and Vudu received high marks from more than 60% 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 at Consumer Reports.
Meanwhile, Consumer Reports has found that streaming video content directly from the Internet has hit the mainstream, according to the study: 52% of the 15,277 subscribers polled said that they used a streaming video service in the previous month, compared to 47% who saw a movie at a theatre, 43% who rented a DVD or Blu-ray disc, and 32% who used their cable provider's video-on-demand service.
The Consumer Reports survey also factored old-fashioned DVD rentals into the andscape. 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.