People like to talk about how cord-cutters and cord-nevers are forgoing cable and satellite fees and getting their pay TV fix via SVOD services. But the ones who are actually the most satisfied with the paid streaming video experience are cord-stackers — people who also subscribe to a traditional MVPD — according to the to the J.D. Power 2016 Streaming Video Satisfaction Study, released today.
The study polled 3,928 customers who had used a subscription- or transaction-based streaming video service within the past six months. It measured customer satisfaction by examining six key factors (in order of importance): performance and reliability; content; cost of service; ease of use; communication; and customer service.
Three-fifths (60%) of the streaming customers were cord-stackers; 23% were cord-shavers (who still subscribe to TV but have downgraded their package); 13% were cord cutters (who have recently canceled TV service); and 4% were cord-nevers (who have never subscribed to pay TV and only subscribe to streaming video service). Satisfaction was measured on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall satisfaction was lowest among cord-cutters (802), followed by cord-nevers (807), while satisfaction is highest among cord-stackers (826) and cord-shavers (822).
The study found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of customers use a streaming service to binge watch, and overall satisfaction for the binge watchers was 35 points higher than those who don’t binge (834 vs. 799, respectively). As binge watching sessions increase in duration, so does the overall satisfaction score: 823 among those whose most recent session lasted less than four hours; 841 among those whose session lasted 4–8 hours; and 858 among those whose session lasted 8 or more hours.
Traditional television still outranks mobile as the preferred device on which to stream video. Sixty-five percent of customers viewed streaming content through their TV; 55% viewed content on a laptop/desktop computer; and 48% viewed content on a mobile device. More than half (56%) of viewers use multiple devices to watch streaming video.
The cable-free crowd did demonstrate a slight edge when it came to original content. The study found that 54% of cord-nevers and 49% of cord-cutters view original content vs. 43% of cord shavers and 41% of cord-stackers.
“The streaming video customer experience appears to be stratifying across the different subscriber segments, with pay TV service still having a major effect on the overall streaming video experience,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director and technology, media & telecom practice leader at J.D. Power, in a statement. “Part of the reason is demographics. Customers who only stream are younger than those who also have TV. Nearly two-fifths (37%) of customers who only stream are 18–34 years old, compared with 30% of those who also have TV. Notably, 52% of cord-nevers are 18–34. Also, streaming-only customers are less likely to use transaction-based streaming services, which perform higher in the content measure.”