Consumers Like Streaming, But Sticking With Pay-TV: J.D Power

Consumers like streaming services, but usually not enough to drop their traditional pay-TV subscriptions, according to new J.D. Power satisfaction surveys.

Overall consumer satisfaction with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu improved slightly to a 7.91 score on a 10-point scale, according to Power. Satisfaction with the performance and reliability of the streaming services also edge up to 7.97.

Satisfaction with traditional pay-TV service’s fell to 710 (on a 1,000) point scale from 724 last year.

Despite the divergence between streaming and pay-TV, fewer consumers told Powers they plan to cut the cord on pay-TV than a year ago. In the latest survey 8% said they planned to drop pay-TV service in the next 12 months, compared to 9% in the 2016 survey.

Powers also found that despite the popularity using of video-on-demand and DVR to time shift favorite shows, the number of hours spent watching regularly scheduled TV programs has increased nearly an hour over the past two year, growing from 17.4 hours in a typical week from 16.6 hours in 2015.

“Although it seems like the world is consumed with idea of cord-cutting in the wake of Hulu’s first Emmy and the proliferation of new shows on Netflix and Amazon, the number of current pay-TV customers who plan to cut the cord has actually declined, and the number of hours spent watching old-fashioned, time-slot television is growing,” said Peter Cunningham, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “We’re seeing a trend toward the co-existence of traditional and alternative service providers, with each offering some lessons to the other on how best to drive an increase in customer satisfaction.”

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale won a hatful of Emmy’s this month.

Among traditional television service providers, AT&T/DirecTV got the highest marks with a 731 score on a national basis.

Nearly tw0-thirds of consumer surveyed said that watch content from their provider using a mobile app. But only 6% say they watch via mobile on a daily basis. Overall satisfaction with pay-TV providers increases with the frequency that customers use a mobile app to view content from that provider, Powers said.

Consumers complaining about billing errors have decreased over the past 5 years. The biggest billing complaint is about hidden fees. But among customers who have received a credit or refund for a billing error, satisfaction scores are slightly higher than for customers who didn’t experience a billing error.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.