Streamers Beat Cable

A report finds viewers are happier with video streaming services than with subscription TV – that is cable, telco or satellite providers.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) 2018 Telecommunications Report says customer satisfaction with video streaming services “far eclipses that of subscription TV service,” earning an ACSI score of 75 compared to 62 for subscription TV, which was down 3.1% from last year’s report.

This year’s report is the first to include streamers.

Netflix, Sony PlayStation Vue, and Twitch were tops in the streaming category, tying with ACSI scores of 78.  iTunes and the Microsoft Store come next at 77. YouTube scored 76, while Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Hulu, and Vudu all ranked at the industry average of 75.

Sony Crackle was last among streamers with 68.

(PRNewsfoto/American Customer Satisfaction)

People were less satisfied with subscription TV services.

AT&T’s U-verse TV ranked first at 70, with Verizon scoring 68 and DISH 67. Spectrum and Suddenlink fell 8% from last year’s report, ranking 58. Mediacom was last at 55.

“Streaming services don’t have the hidden fees and six-month rates that subscription TV does, not to mention they’re cheaper and simpler,” said David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI. “But because consumers don’t have many options when choosing a subscription TV provider, those businesses don’t see a lot of risk in customer dissatisfaction, and we’re unlikely to see dramatic changes any time soon.”

Although more people were happy with streaming services, fewer were satisfied with the internet service providers (ISPs) required to access those streamers.

ISPs were down 3.1 percent this year to 62, with Verizon Fios in first place at 70 and Mediacom last at 53.

ACSI noted: “(W)hile customers clearly aren’t satisfied with their service, more than half of Americans have only one choice for high-speed broadband.”

The ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018 was based on 45,292 customer surveys collected between April 19, 2017 and March 17, 2018. ACSI scores were graded on a scale of 0 to 100 based on data from interviews.

The full report is available for download at

The ASCI “measures and analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 380 companies in 46 industries and 10 economic sectors.”

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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