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HBO Max subscribers are the most satisfied out of all major SVODs, survey finds

A survey of U.S. SVOD subscribers from Whip Media finds that 94% of HBO Max subscribers are satisfied or very satisfied with the service – the highest proportion out of any major SVOD. At the other end of the ranking, only 72% of Amazon Prime Video subscribers and 68% of Peacock subscribers expressed satisfaction with the services. 69% of viewers who cancelled their Netflix subscription said they had done so because the service had increased its price, with 20% of current Netflix subscribers expressing dissatisfaction with the value of the service.

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According to a survey of almost 2500 U.S. SVOD subscribers conducted by Whip Media, 94% of HBO Max subscribers are satisfied or very satisfied with the service – the highest proportion out of any major SVOD. The survey was conducted from April 29 to May 4 in 2022, with results weighted to reflect the U.S. general population by gender and age (18-54).

HBO Max saw a small increase in subscriber satisfaction levels of 2% from the previous year’s survey results. Other SVODs which ranked highly in terms of subscriber satisfaction include Disney+ and Hulu, with 88% and 87% of users expressing satisfaction with the services, respectively. Netflix also enjoyed high levels of satisfaction with 80% of users satisfied, however this figure represents a ten percentage point drop from the previous year.

79% of Paramount+ subscribers expressed satisfaction with the service, up from 75% in the previous year. Apple TV+ enjoyed the largest rise in satisfaction levels this year, increasing from 62% in 2021 to 76% and overtaking three other services. At the lower end of the ranking, Amazon Prime Video, Discovery+, and Peacock experienced satisfaction levels of 72%, 72%, and 68% respectively (although this represents a significant improvement for Peacock over the previous year, in which only 62% of subscribers reported satisfaction with the service.)

HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney also topped the ranking in terms of services subscribers said they are likely or very likely to keep their subscription for, with 91%, 88%, and 87% of subscribers affirming that view, respectively. Amazon Prime Video subscribers were also among the least likely to unsubscribe, with 86% saying they would keep their subscription. However, Whip Media notes that “given their lower satisfaction scores, this likely has much to do with other benefits of Prime membership.”

While 81% of Netflix subscribers affirmed the likelihood of keeping their subscription, this represents a dramatic 12% fall from the previous year – the largest decline for any service. 75% of Paramount+ subscribers, as well as 69% and 67% of Discovery+ and Peacock subscribers respectively, said they are likely to keep their subscriptions. While only 54% of Apple TV subscribers expressed they are likely keep their subscription in 2021, this figure jumped to 73% this year – again, the largest increase for any SVOD service.

According to Whip Media, Netflix “continues to be the service that a plurality of consumers view as indispensable.” When asked which service they would keep if they could only pick one, 31% of Netflix subscribers chose the service. While this represents the highest proportion of subscribers among any major SVOD, it also reflects a ten percentage point decline for Netflix from the previous year. In second place, 19% of HBO Max subscribers chose it, picking up six out of the ten percentage points Netflix lost from the previous year.

17% and 14% of Hulu and Disney+ subscribers chose those services respectively, however Whip Media notes that “among respondents with children, Disney+ goes up to 18% on this question, moving it into second place.” Only 6% of Amazon Prime Video subscribers said they would choose the SVOD if they could only keep one, with no other services chosen by more than 3% of respondents in this category.

The survey suggests that Netflix is still experiencing large degrees of satisfaction in terms of its user experience and program recommendations, with 88% of subscribers saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the former, and 71% with the latter. 82% of Disney+ subscribers expressed satisfaction with the service’s user experience, and 62% expressed satisfaction with its program recommendations. At the lower end of the ranking, Amazon Prime Video had a satisfaction rate of 62% for its user experience and 48% for its program recommendations. Whip Media remarks that it is “somewhat surprising that Amazon, the most experienced streamer after Netflix, ranks near the bottom on both of these aspects.”

The research company elaborates: “Given their data-driven focus, one might expect their recommendation engine would rank higher than most. It stands to reason that, given their large amount of content, their satisfaction scores could increase with some improvement in this area.”

Discovery+ and Peacock also experienced low levels of satisfaction with their user experience and program recommendations: 64% and 58% respectively for Discovery+, and 61% and 44% respectively for Peacock.

In terms of the level of value subscribers feel the services provide – which represents a relationship between quality of content and price – 85% and 83% of HBO Max and Disney+ subscribers respectively, are either satisfied or very satisfied. 79% of Hulu subscribers and 69% of Paramount+ subscribers expressed satisfaction with the value of their respective services. Interestingly, Netflix ranked bottom of the list with regards to perceived value, with only 62% of the SVOD’s subscribers saying they were satisfied. A full 20% of Netflix subscribers said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the service’s value – eight percentage points higher than the closest service (Apple TV+) and 16 percentage points higher than HBO Max.

Whip Media comments: “The contrast in perceived value between HBO Max and Netflix is perhaps the most important finding of this research. These services are similarly priced, (per month, Netflix standard service is $15.49, HBO Max ad-free is $14.99) and yet HBO Max is considered the most satisfying value of all the services we surveyed and Netflix was lowest.”

The research company also asked consumers who had unsubscribed from a service why they had done so, allowing respondents to choose multiple options. For users who had cancelled their Netflix subscription, 69% had done so because of an increase in the subscription price, with 55% saying they had felt they were not getting enough value from the service. 29% of unsubscribers left the service because its library programming did not interest them, with a further 28% uninterested in the streamers’ originals. 22% said they had seen all the content that interested them, and only 7% had unsubscribed because they felt Netflix’s user experience was unpleasant.

For HBO Max unsubscribers, the largest factor behind users decision to unsubscribe was the belief they were not receiving enough value from the service, however, in contrast to Netflix, a very significant portion of unsubscribers (43%) felt they had already watched all the programming they were interested in. Only 9% of previous HBO Max users had cancelled their subscription because they felt the company’s originals did not interest them. While HBO Max ended its policy of premiering movies on the streaming service at the same time as they premier in cinemas, only 14% cited this as a factor in their decision to unsubscribe.

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