Cord Cutters Aren't Thrilled By Streaming, Either

A J.D. Power study out last week indicates that if you already like what you see on television, you’ll really like streaming video services.

This information seems a little uncomfortable at first. Doesn’t the popularity of Netflix (and kinda/sorta all streaming video) mean you’re sick and tired of the blather on TV?

Well, no. Apparently not. People who are still invested in TV watching--that is, they still subscribe to cable or satellite services--are the most satisfied streaming customers.

They can’t get enough.

But cord cutters and cord nevers just aren’t as passionate about Netflix, Hulu, et al as their bold defiance would lead you to believe.

The J.D. Power 2016 Streaming Video Satisfaction Study charts the pleasure online video service subscribers have gotten in the last six months,in six key measures. Here they are in order of importance: performance and reliability; content; cost of service; ease of use; communication; and customer service. Scores are indexed on 1,000 point scale.



The Satisfaction Study says 60% of streaming subscribers are still subscribers to pay TV services. Those are the cord stackers. But 23% are cord shavers, 13% are cord cutters and 4% are cord nevers.

If this study is right, some of those cutters are having unbundler’s remorse.

Cord cutters, with an index score of 802, are the least satisfied streaming customers; cord nevers, who have so far in life been deprived of the endless ins and outs of cable’s fantastic triple-play, are second least satisfied with an 807 index score.  

But cord stackers are a happy more-the-merrier lot (826), followed closely by cord shavers (822). Those shavers at least have the satisfaction of having done something to lower than indebtedness to their big cable/satellite oppressors without totally ruining their lives, like the cord cutters have.

You can read even more, or a lot less, into this data than I just started to.

For example,  J.D.Power points out that 52% of cord nevers are 18-to-34, and comparatively unhappy.  Really? What’s their beef?  Streaming is the only kind of paid-for visual media they have had the chance to complain about. As Billy Joel sang, these are not the best of times, but they’re the only times they’ve ever known. They are young and just beginning to experience the total package of lies and disappointments awaiting them.

And conversely, those cord stackers are happy even though they are the least likely to watch original fare offered from streaming services--just 41% of them do, least of all the categories. So, that’s not nothing. But it indicates that a second season of “Narcos,” or any seasons of Chelsea Handler, has less pulling power than some might feel.

What ends up being a big viewing plus for all types of streamers is binge viewing. More, more, more is better. Nearly two-thirds (62%) binge watch TV programming.  Luxuriating in long stretches of making no decisions is a great unifier.

J.D. Power notes, “Overall satisfaction is 35 points higher among those who binge watch vs. those who do not (834 vs. 799, respectively). As binge-watching sessions increase in duration, so does overall satisfaction: 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 eight or more hours.”

This, perhaps, is the ultimate couch potato stat. Pay services are also advertising-free so that those long binge sessions are accomplished without seeing the same set of commercials every 15 minutes from sundown to midnight that make cable networks’ marathon weekends so nauseous.

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