Survey: OTT providers beating traditional pay TV rivals but struggling with customer experience

According to new research from Paywizard, consumers now give higher negative ratings to traditional cable, satellite and IPTV pay-TV operators than online video-on-demand (VOD) providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu at every stage of the customer journey. However, the figures also reveal that over-the-top (OTT) subscription services struggle to keep customers happy, receiving significant negative scores at each contact point in the customer journey.

The survey of more than 3,000 consumers across three ‘bellwether’ markets – the UK, the United States and the Philippines – reveals that, when it comes handling every major interaction a subscriber experiences when engaging with a pay-TV service, consumers were more negative in their view of traditional pay-TV operators than OTT providers. The top three interactions identified as the most negative by customers for both traditional and OTT services are a billing issue – with 26% of respondents unhappy about the way an inaccurate bill or payment problem was dealt with – followed by cancelling a subscription (22%) and contacting customer service (21%).

Respondents to the survey also give OTT providers higher positive ratings in eight out of 10 categories – from making sign-up easy, to recommending content, to dealing with billing, to facilitating service cancellation. There were only two areas in which traditional operators perform better in consumer eyes than OTT rivals in terms of providing a positive experience: contacting customer service (58% versus 51%) and upgrading/downgrading their package (56% to 53%). 

Bhavesh Vaghela, Paywizard’s chief executive, notes: “There is a perception in the TV market that OTT providers are performing much better than their traditional counterparts, however this research clearly demonstrates that OTT providers are far from perfect and are, in fact, only just better in many key areas of the customer journey.

“This research looks at how consumers view their experiences with all pay-TV providers, touching on each ‘Decision Moment’ in the customer journey. These Decision Moments are the key points at which the performance of an operator can determine how a customer views a service and whether their relationship with the provider will strengthen, weaken or even break.

 “We can see that there are slight variations between the markets we surveyed, but what is most clear is that the situation is broadly that same across the board: traditional pay-TV providers have a lot of work to do to ensure a positive customer experience, and OTT services cannot take it for granted that their subscribers are happy at each point of consumer engagement.”

The full research report, Show the Love with Customer Experience, can be downloaded here.

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