Many Streaming Service Subs Are Unhappy with the User Experience

(Image credit: Momentive)

NEW YORK—At a time when researchers are reporting increased complaints about the streaming video experience, a new survey by Accenture has found that three-in-five subscribers to multiple streaming services expressed frustration with their viewing experiences and that 44% of those surveyed were spending more than six minutes searching for something to watch.

In addition to the challenge of finding something to watch, consumers also think more than 60% of the content they are paying for is not relevant to them, the survey found. More than half (56%) say they wish their profile from one service could easily be shared with another service that may offer them better, more personalized content.

The problems have become so bad that a separate report from Deloitte recently predicted that 150 million streaming subscriptions will be canceled in 2022

The “Streaming’s Next Act: Aggregators to play a starring role in making consumers happier” report from Accenture argues that the solution to the problem may be something that looks more like cable TV, with more programming and content aggregated into one place. 

(Image credit: Accenture)

“Through our research, consumers said that the video streaming experience has become somewhat unwieldy, unfriendly, and expensive for many them,” said Andrew Walker, global Communications and Media industry group leader at Accenture. “A big change to the streaming ecosystem is needed to give consumers greater control over their experience—the addition of a smart content aggregator, sitting across multiple platforms.”

Accenture’s research also indicates that while consumers care more about the content delivered by streaming services, they find the navigation experience with the growing number of services to be increasingly frustrating. 

The researchers noted that content aggregators can address this concern by unifying access across streaming services through application software, services and data-sharing agreements. Aggregators can also foster flexibility and personalization for viewers by serving as a single platform with curated content that enables them to select exactly what they want to watch.

“Consumers didn’t express a strong preference for a particular company to give them a better user experience,” said John Peters, managing director in the Media and Entertainment industry group at Accenture. “People expect innovation and improvement in this space and are looking for a company to come up with new and better ideas for delivering content to them in a way that makes their lives easier and their viewing experiences more enjoyable.”

The report also offers the a few considerations for companies in the streaming entertainment ecosystem—from video, music and podcasts to gaming—that could improve the consumer experience: 

  • Consider your play in the aggregated world, the researchers said. Determine if you want to be an integrator or the integrated, so you can either shape distribution deals to entice subscription video on demand (SVOD) and advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) services to participate or partner with the entities vying to be the preferred integrator.
  • Start planning for a distributed data model. Invest in data privacy and make that commitment known to your consumers, so they are confident sharing data that is critical for integration and personalization services.
  • Be ready to stretch. Think beyond SVOD and AVOD services to consider music services, podcast and e-book services, video games, home security, food delivery services and more. 
  • Engage in experimentation. Players with data-driven experimentation at the core of how they operate will be far more ready and nimble to adapt to changing consumer preferences, the report said. 

The report is based on an online survey of 6,000 consumers, ages 18 and older, across 11 countries (Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, South Africa, Spain, UK and U.S.).

For additional insights and findings on “Streaming’s Next Act” click here.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.