Cutting the cord is often framed in a positive light, but a recent survey indicates that consumer satisfaction may not be so cut and dry. In fact, Ireland-based Accenture reports that 60% of people who subscribe to a streaming service complain about the user experience.
Consumer Satisfaction on a Downward Trend
Satisfaction among consumers who subscribe to streaming video providers is trending down, and the recent Accenture report is just the latest data to support this growing dissatisfaction. Three out of five people surveyed expressed some degree of satisfaction.
The report also indicates that 44% agreed that they waste six or more minutes finding something to watch and that 56% wanted to be able to share their user profile across all of the streaming services to which they have access. In addition, 60% feel as if they are paying for content that is not relevant to them and which they do not want.
Is the Streaming Experience Actually Getting Worse?
The industry is trying to figure out why consumer dissatisfaction is on the rise, and there are likely a number of factors in play. Cutting cable was at one point exciting, and many consumers were just happy to be free of their cable TV obligations. Satisfaction ratings were so high to probably not be maintainable.
Think of it as the honeymoon period being over. Another factor is that the viewing base is continuing to get larger. The estimate is that 85% of Americans will pay for at least one streaming subscription in 2022. That means that there are more viewers who are perhaps not as tech savvy and not as inclined to be as positive. The third issue is choice. Choice is usually a good thing, but there is so much choice among streaming providers that it is actually leading to dissatisfaction among consumers.
For streaming providers that have spent years establishing walled gardens through original content, exclusives, and rights wars, this is a tragedy waiting to happen. It also makes sense because streaming clients use a variety of services. It’s understandable that they’d desire history from one place to be transferred to another. If you enjoy “haunted home” films on one platform, you will most likely enjoy them on the other.
Aggregators May Be the Solution
Accenture estimates that 150 million streaming subscriptions will be cancelled in 2022. This is a significant number that has the attention of the big players in the industry.
The Accenture team posits that the solution to the growing dissatisfaction is aggregators. Aggregators could overcome many of the consumer complaints by providing each consumer a more personalized experience.
Is it something that the major streaming services would be willing do? Prior to 2022, the answer to that question would probably be no, but the landscape is changing, and those companies may have to change with it.
What an Aggregator May Look Like
An aggregator would serve as a portal. You could choose the portal that provides the user experience you want. It would provide you with a single profile, and this would give you a consistent experience regardless of what you are watching and who was providing it.
It would eliminate the need for you to have separate subscriptions for Netflix, Sling TV, HBO Max and Disney, for instance. It would aggregate the content from all of them, and they would be paid based on what you actually watched.
The Road Ahead
Customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied, and their issues must be handled. In a field where customers are increasingly mobile, whoever implements this first will have a new commercial advantage. The statistics on turnover support this. However, it’s uncertain how far the platforms will take these suggestions.
This evolution is not going to happen overnight. It may be a difficult process with many failures before the cream actually rises to the top. But it is already underway. Consider companies like Netflix that are branching out into video games or Microsoft, which offers a video game subscription. It is probably likely that the aggregator services on the horizon will offer much more than movies and TV shows. They will offer music, podcasts, video games, e-books and whatever other media you want to consume.