- A new survey showed that respondents were most satisfied with HBO Max among streaming services.
- But Netflix was the service most respondents said they would keep if they could have only one.
- Library content was more important to respondents than originals, but that could change.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The streaming space has rapidly expanded in the last two years with new players like Disney+ and WarnerMedia’s
joining established giants like
and Prime Video.
But there’s a limit to how many services people will subscribe to. And after a pandemic surge for streaming, a real concern for platforms is subscribers canceling, otherwise known as “churn.”
Consumers subscribe to an average of four services, according to a survey published last week by the entertainment-insights company Whip Media. The company surveyed 3,960 users of its television- and -movie-tracking app TV Time in the US from June 9 to June 13, and weighed the results to reflect the US population by gender and age.
32% of respondents said that they canceled a streaming service in the last year.
Given that, which service did they think was most essential?
41% of respondents said that they would keep Netflix if they could only keep one streaming service.
It was followed by:
- Hulu — 21%
- HBO Max — 13%
- Disney+ — 9%
- Prime Video — 6%
- Paramount+ — 2%
- Discovery+ — 1%
- Peacock — 1%
- Apple TV+ — 1%
- Other — 3%
- None of the above — 3%
Respondents were most satisfied with HBO Max
While Netflix ranked highest as the service that most respondents said they would keep, HBO Max led in satisfaction.
51% of respondents were “very satisfied” with Max while 46% were “very satisfied” with Netflix. The latter was neck-and-neck with
and Disney+ in this regard.
Here’s how all the streamers fared in terms of whether respondents were “very satisfied” with it:
- HBO Max — 51%
- Netflix — 46%
- Disney+ — 46%
- Hulu — 45%
- Discovery+ — 35%
- Prime Video — 28%
- Paramount+ — 28%
- Apple TV+ — 21%
- Peacock — 19%
Max launched in May 2020 to a rocky start, primarily because it wasn’t on Roku or Amazon platforms at launch, the two most popular streaming distributors.
But it eventually struck deals with both Roku and Amazon, though HBO was removed from Amazon’s Channels feature last week, in which people can subscribe to a service through Amazon (Max is still a standalone app on Amazon Fire devices). Max is now offering a 50% discount of its ad-free plan to lure the 5 million customers HBO lost.
Max has made great strides in gaining subscribers since launch, though, boosted by new Warner Bros. movies debuting simultaneously on the service and in theaters this year. During its Q2 earnings in July, parent company AT&T said the service gained 2.8 million subscribers in the quarter, well ahead of forecasts.
Services like ViacomCBS’ Paramount+, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and Apple TV+ have struggled to make an impression, and ranked the lowest when it came to satisfaction (though Apple’s breakout hit “Ted Lasso” just picked up a few Emmys).
Prime Video also ranked low in satisfaction, though the number of respondents who said that they subscribed to it was high at 76%, second only to Netflix with 88%. That suggests many may subscribe to Prime Video since it’s offered with an Amazon Prime subscription, while not being necessarily satisfied with it.
Library content was more important to subscribers than originals, but that could change
The survey found that 61% of respondents saw library content (licensed shows and movies) as “very important” and 31% found it “important,” for a combined 92% of respondents.
When it came to original content, 42% of respondents said that originals were “very important” and 36% said they were “important” for a combined 78%.
With the surge in media companies entering the streaming space in recent years, original content is essential to differentiating their platforms. But library content is still attractive to subscribers. For instance, “The Office” was one of Netflix’s most popular series before it moved to Peacock.
Original content is gaining a bit, though. Whip Media noted that in last year’s spring survey, the combined “very important” and “important” response was 71% and in fall 2019 it was 68%.