500 Customers Evaluate Top Subscription Video On-Demand (SVOD) Apps; Study Finds Only 29% of Viewers Actually Watch Recommended Content, More Than Half Subscribe to Multiple Services

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif – May 22, 2018 – Subscription video on-demand (SVOD) app revenue growth is skyrocketing. With 22 million people in the U.S. “cutting the cord,” one-size-fits-all approaches to entertainment must change rapidly to meet and exceed the evolving expectations of savvy consumers. The SVOD era puts customers in the driver’s seat, cementing the customer experience (CX) as the main competitive differentiator.

To provide in-depth analysis into why SVOD customers experience frustration or delight, UserTesting, the leading on-demand human insight platform, today published the Streaming Media Customer Experience Index, a competitive benchmarking study of the top five SVOD apps: Netflix, HBO Now, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube TV.

500 SVOD customers evaluated the apps based on five factors—Ease of Use, Speed, Credibility, Aesthetics, and Delight—which UserTesting has identified as key CX attributes during its 10 years helping thousands of companies leverage human insights to improve ROI and increase loyalty.

Key findings from the report:

  • Overall highest-rated SVOD app was Netflix. With a CX score of nearly 90 (scale of 0 “negative” to 100 “positive”), Netflix provided its customers with the best customer experience: the most relevant recommendations, an overall easy-to-use intuitive app, and impressive speeds, delighting its customers the most.

  • Overall lowest-rated SVOD app was HBO Now. With a CX score of 72, HBO Now disappointed its customers, who had extreme difficulty finding any recommended content, and experienced lag, freezing, and buffering issues. Had it not been for HBO’s clean, sleek, and uncluttered design (scored 97 for aesthetics), its score might have been lower.

  • Recommendations do not work. While recommendations were easy to find among the SVOD apps (with the exception of HBO Now), most fell short when it came to providing relevant recommendations—only 29% reported actually watching suggested content.

  • Limited content is a major drawback for all services. Consistent with Deloitte, UserTesting found that SVOD customers aren’t finding all of their content through a single app. More than half of participants reported that they subscribe to at least two SVOD apps, with 90% of HBO Now customers subscribing to Netflix and 80% to Amazon Prime.

  • Streaming is NOT mobile yet. Smart TVs and streaming media devices (like the Roku, Apple TV, and Firestick) accounted for 45% of participants’ preferred watching device, while 37% preferred computers. Only 11% cited their smartphone or tablet as their primary streaming device.

“The rapid, widespread adoption of streaming entertainment has created a cultural shift in which 74% of participants in this study reported watching streaming media every day,” said Janelle Estes, VP of Strategic Research Services at UserTesting. “While data collection can help inform some features, there’s no substitute for capturing human insights to understand the evolving needs of consumers in the ‘what I want, when I want it’ era. Only by continuously listening to customer expectations can we understand the why behind every customer reaction, and create great experiences that exceed those expectations.”

Research Methodology

For the fourth installment of the UserTesting CX Index Series, the Streaming Media CX Index, UserTesting ran a competitive benchmarking study from March 1, 2018 to March 15, 2018 of the top five subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services. 500 customers (100 per service) evaluated the SVOD apps based on five key customer experience factors (see above). Each consumer attempted to complete a series of standard tasks on the SVOD apps and then responded to rating-scale questions about their experience, resulting in both quantitative data (a CX score on a scale of 0 “negative” to 100 “positive”) and qualitative insights.

A copy of the full Streaming Media CX Index, including charts, is available at: For UserTesting’s past industry CX Indexes, visit

About UserTesting
UserTesting (NYSE: USER) has fundamentally changed the way organizations get insights from customers with fast, opt-in feedback and experience capture technology. The UserTesting Human Insight Platform taps into our global network of real people and generates video-based recorded experiences, so anyone in an organization can directly ask questions, hear what users say, see what they mean, and understand what it’s actually like to be a customer. Unlike approaches that track user behavior then try to infer what that behavior means, UserTesting eliminates the guesswork and brings customer experience data to life with human insight. UserTesting has more than 2,100 customers, including more than half of the world’s top 100 most valuable brands according to Forbes. UserTesting is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. To learn more, visit

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