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There’s just something about terrible customer service, high prices, and sketchy quality product that consumers oddly don’t like. American consumers’ dislike of traditional cable TV providers was once again made clear this week in a study by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which, as its name implies, tracks US consumer approval of companies on a 100 point scale. As has long been the case, the full report shows most traditional cable TV, satellite, or IPTV providers languishing somewhere in the mid 60s — scores that are bested by a long line of industries and government agencies (including the IRS).
Not too surprisingly, the report shows that American consumers far prefer streaming video alternatives, which provide them with lower costs and greater package flexibility. According to the ACSI, streaming services scored significantly higher than traditional TV, phone, broadband, video on demand, and wireless providers:
“Video streaming services are the top performers for customer satisfaction among the five telecom industries. Competition is likely to spur further improvement, with both Disney and Apple expected to release inexpensive streaming services later this year. Netflix gains 1% to secure first place at 79—and number one across all five telecom categories—after sharing the lead with Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Amazon Twitch last year. As its membership growth continues at a record pace, ACSI data show Netflix ranks at the top for original content among all streaming services.”
The report’s infographic makes the point clearer still:
Of course that’s a major reason for the slow, steady exodus of cord cutters from traditional TV to streaming services or over the air antennas, the rate of which continues to accelerate. Streaming companies are actually trying to compete on things like price, which, with a few exceptions, still isn’t something the traditional cable and broadcast industry is particularly interested in. Many sector executives spent the last decade pretending that this shift toward streaming was some kind of temporary fluke that would just magically dissipate.
As a result two sectors — Pay-TV and broadband — both had average satisfaction scores in the mid-sixties, the last place of all the industries the ACSI tracks. When you consider that includes the airline, banking, and insurance industries, that’s no small feat.
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