ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ACSI?src=hash” target=”_blank”gt;#ACSIlt;/agt;–Video streaming expands its lead over subscription TV service in terms
of customer satisfaction, rising 1.3% to a score of 76 on the American
Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI®) 100-point scale,
according to the ACSI
Telecommunications Report 2018-2019. Subscription TV service sits
stagnant at 62, tied with internet service providers (ISPs) for last
place among all industries tracked by the ACSI.
Among the five telecommunications industries covered in the
report—subscription TV, ISPs, fixed-line telephone service,
video-on-demand service, and video streaming service—only video
streaming stands out.
“Video streaming once again proves itself to be the best of the telecom
industries in customer satisfaction,” said David VanAmburg, Managing
Director at the ACSI. “Traditional telecom providers have tried to step
up their game, but they’re not providing original content the way video
streaming is, and in part they suffer guilt by association—if customers
aren’t satisfied overall with Comcast, they’re probably going to ding
Comcast’s on-demand service too.”
Netflix takes the crown among video streaming services
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.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue is steady in second place at 78, followed by
Microsoft Store at 77. Hulu steps up 1% to match Amazon Prime Video (up
1%) and Apple iTunes (down 1%) at 76.
The rest of the category falls below the industry average. Five services
cluster at 75: CBS All Access (up 1%), Google Play (unchanged), Amazon’s
gaming platform Twitch (down 4%), Walmart’s Vudu (unchanged), and
Google’s YouTube (down 1%). DISH Network’s Sling TV is the most improved
(up 4%), meeting HBO (up 3%) at 74. Starz matches the combined score of
smaller platforms at 72, while Showtime follows close behind, growing 1%
AT&T’s DIRECTV Now falls 1% to 69, ahead of only Sony Crackle, which
remains unchanged at 68.
Subscription TV stagnates
For the past six years, customer satisfaction with subscription TV has
languished in the mid-to-low 60s, and in 2018, subscription sales
declined 3% to $103.4 billion.
AT&T’s U-verse TV holds the lead for subscription TV despite a 1% slip
to 69, followed by Verizon’s Fios at 68 and DISH Network at 67 (both
unchanged). AT&T’s satellite TV service, DIRECTV, gains 3% to an ACSI
score of 66, but this may be the result of shedding dissatisfied
subscribers, leaving only the most loyal customers.
Altice’s Optimum retreats 2% to 61, falling behind the industry average.
Charter’s Spectrum is among the few gainers in the industry, improving
2% to 59 to tie with Cox Communications, which slips 2%.
Frontier Communications ticks up 2% to match Comcast’s Xfinity, which
sits unchanged at 57. Mediacom follows closely with a 2% increase to 56.
Altice’s Suddenlink tumbles 5% to the bottom of the category at 55.
These companies are among the lowest-scoring firms tracked by the ACSI.
Verizon’s Fios holds its lead as AT&T Internet advances among ISPs
Unchanged at a score of 62, ISPs remain at the bottom of the ACSI
rankings. While many providers post gains this year, service is largely
considered to be slow and unreliable, and competition is limited in many
areas. Most ISPs are still falling short of providing good service at an
Verizon’s Fios is stable at the top of the category with an ACSI score
of 70, but AT&T Internet is closing in with a 1% uptick to 69.
Altice’s Optimum retreats 2% to 63 but remains the leader among coaxial
providers. Meanwhile, Comcast’s Xfinity inches closer to the industry
average, up 2% to 61. Cox Communications climbs 2% to 60, tying Altice’s
Suddenlink, which falls 2%. Charter’s Spectrum also dips 2% and
CenturyLink grows 2% to meet at 59.
The lowest-scoring ISPs all make gains. Mediacom improves the most, up
6% to 56, just behind Windstream, which rises 2% to 57. Frontier
Communications gains 2% but sits at the bottom of the industry at 55. As
in the subscription TV industry, firms scoring lowest here are also some
of the worst performers among the 400+ companies in the ACSI.
AT&T’s U-verse TV, other video-on-demand services struggle against
Customer satisfaction with video-on-demand service slips 1.5% to an ACSI
score of 67 as viewers continue to turn toward more satisfying streaming
services like Netflix and Hulu. Despite the threat of online
competition, the largest cable and satellite companies have done little
to spur improvement.
AT&T’s U-verse TV service held the lead a year ago, but now falls 3% to
share the top spot with Verizon’s Fios (unchanged) at a score of 72.
Satellite provider DISH Network drops 3% to 71 but remains just ahead of
DIRECTV, unchanged at 70.
Frontier Communications debuts in the category with a score of 67, in
line with the industry average. Three decliners meet at 66: Cox
Communications (down 1%), Altice’s Optimum (down 3%), and Comcast’s
Xfinity (down 1%). Charter’s Spectrum remains unchanged at the bottom of
the category with a 64.
Vonage stands apart for loyal customers of fixed-line telephone
As more than half of all U.S. households forgo landlines in favor of
wireless service, only the most loyal customers remain. Perhaps that’s
why overall customer satisfaction with fixed-line telephone service
climbs 1.4% to an ACSI score of 71.
Individual company performance, however, varies. Vonage steps up 1% to
77. As a VoIP provider, Vonage doesn’t need to maintain an
infrastructure, so it can focus resources on customer service.
Companies that provide both cable and internet service in addition to
landline telephone do not perform as well. Verizon Communications gains
1% to 73, followed by AT&T, unchanged at 72. Altice’s Optimum is static
at 69, followed by Cox Communications, Charter’s Spectrum, and Comcast’s
Xfinity—all posting modest gains to 67. Windstream is stable at 64.
The only two decliners are CenturyLink, which dips 2% to 65, and
Altice’s Suddenlink, which plummets 14% to 61. According to its
customers, Suddenlink’s service is the least reliable among fixed-line
providers in terms of service interruptions and outages. Frontier
Communications also comes in at 61, despite being the most improved with
a gain of 7%.
The ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018-2019 on subscription TV,
ISPs, fixed-line telephone service, video-on-demand service, and video
streaming service is based on interviews with 38,681 customers, chosen
at random and contacted via email between April 5, 2018, and March 27,
2019. Download the full Telecommunications
Stay tuned! On June 4, we will reveal the ACSI scores for wireless phone
service and cell phone manufacturers in a new report.
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the data and
information in this release without the express prior written consent of
Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) has been a
national economic indicator for 25 years. It measures and analyzes
customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 46 industries and
10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local
government agencies. Reported on a scale of 0 to 100, ACSI scores are
based on data from interviews with roughly 300,000 customers annually.
For more information, visit www.theacsi.org.
ACSI and its logo are Registered Marks of the University of Michigan,
licensed worldwide exclusively to American Customer Satisfaction Index
LLC with the right to sublicense.
Katie Johnston, 610-228-2248