The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has released its annual ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018, and one of the highlights of the report is how much better streaming service providers are performing than the competition. More directly, in terms of customer satisfaction in the U.S., ACSI's report seems to indicate that the more "on-demand" a video service is, the more value its customers place on it. Those in the Subscription TV Service category achieved the lowest scores on average, with scores dropping by 3.1-percent from 2017. That score landed at 62 points out of 100 possible. Meanwhile, the Video-on-Demand category, which technically includes some of the same companies in the previous category, was measured at a rating of 68. Video Streaming Service providers, on the other hand, scored 75 points. It's not really possible to gauge the projection of those three categories since neither of the latter two categories was measured by ACSI in 2017. However, the trend isn't really surprising either, with consideration for the proliferation of new technology platforms for on-demand and streaming services. More users than ever are cutting the cord and looking for low-cost alternatives, which is putting a substantial amount of strain on more traditional providers.
Meanwhile, there are some interesting trends in terms of indicators regarding how those scores were earned in each category and where each company ranked. For example, ACSI reports that although nearly every benchmark for the Subscription TV Service category saw a decline in 2018, call center-based customer service has remained a low point. That's hardly surprising, given the trend toward online customer service experience but it's the only benchmark for which that service type scores well below others by a significant margin – landing at 63 points. Conversely, the HD Picture Quality Benchmark stayed constant at 80 points. With regard to rankings, AT&T's U-verse and Verizon's Fios took the top spots with 70 points and 68 points, respectively. Fios had previously held the top position in 2017 but was edged out by U-verse, while DISH Network also managed to edge out DirecTV for the number three spot. DISH scored a benchmark average of 67 points. U-verse, DISH Network, and Fios also topped the chart for Video-on-Demand Services, scoring 74 points, 73 points, and 72 points. However, while call centers again brought the overall score down with a score of 67 points, picture quality didn't play such a pivotal role in those rankings. Instead, the number of available TV shows and website satisfaction benchmarks both scored 75 points and the availability of new movies, free content, and previous seasons of shows scored below 70 points.
Finally, for Video Streaming Service, only one score fell below 70 points – namely, the availability of new movies. Call center service, a problem category elsewhere, earned 75 points and both website satisfaction and the ease with which billing could be understood topped things off with 80 points. Netflix, Sony's PlayStation Vue, and Amazon's Twitch topped the rankings with 78 points each. Only Sony's Crackle service fell below 70 points with a score of 68.