OTT Dominates Pay TV in Customer Satisfaction

MVPDs' ACSI score hits 11-year low
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OTT TV offerings pulled in a score of 75 (out of 100) in the ACSI Telecommunications Report, vs. a score of 62 for traditional TV services.

OTT TV offerings pulled in a score of 75 (out of 100) in the ACSI Telecommunications Report, vs. a score of 62 for traditional TV services.

Consumers are more satisfied with video streaming services such as Netflix and PlayStation Vue than they are with traditional TV services — and by a wide margin — according to a new report from The American Customer Satisfaction Index.

This year’s version of the ACSI Telecommunications Report, based on data from interviews with about 250,000 consumers, found that overall customer satisfaction with subscription TV services fell 3.1% to a score of 62 (out of a possible 100), an 11-year low.

By comparison, video streaming services, which included a mix of subscription and free VOD services and OTT TV offerings, pulled in a score of 75, getting high marks for ease of understanding of bills, ease of use of on-screen menus and guides and overall performance and reliability. Areas that need work are access to current TV shows and new movie titles. Netflix, PS Vue and Twitch led the group with a score of 78. Other examples: YouTube Red/Premium (76); Amazon Prime Video and Hulu (75); CBS All Access (74); HBO Now and Starz (72); Sling TV (71); and DirecTV Now (70).

Among traditional pay TV services, AT&T U-verse TV topped the charts in 2018 with a score of 70, followed by Verizon Fios TV (68), and Dish Network (67) and DirecTV satellite TV (64). Optimum (Altice USA) was the highest-scoring cable operator with a 62, down from 66 in 2017. Pay TV picture quality got high marks. Call-center satisfaction fell to the bottom.

The disparity in customer satisfaction comes as people continue to defect to lower-cost online video services alongside OTT experiences that have “fundamentally changed buyer expectations,” ACSI said. “OTT operators have raised the bar by providing greater personalization, lower prices, more mobility — and much better customer service.”

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