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Consumer Reports: Vudu’s streaming service tops Netflix for customer satisfaction

Fri, 07/27/2012 - 12:11pm
Mike Robuck

Netflix rules the roost when it comes to the overall number of streaming subscribers, but Vudu’s service came out ahead in a recent survey by Consumer Reports.

While Vudu came in first, Apple iTunes and Amazon Instant Video also scored higher than Netflix for overall satisfaction in Consumer Reports' first comprehensive ratings of video services. On the plus side for Netflix, 81 percent of the survey respondents used its streaming service.

The biggest complaint against Netflix’s streaming service was a lack of choices, especially with new releases. That’s good news for cable operators, which have been working to get their VOD and TV Everywhere windows closer to movies’ actual theater release dates.

Consumer Reports said limited movie choices was a common problem for “all-you-can-watch” streaming services, which also includes Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus.

Fewer than one in five survey respondents said that they were highly satisfied with the choice of titles from those services. However, the selection of titles available on pay-per-view streaming services such as Amazon Instant Video, iTunes and Vudu received high marks from more than 60 percent of users.

"Our survey revealed that a healthy selection of titles is one of the biggest factors in overall satisfaction with video services, which is why disc rental services and pay-per-view streaming services scored the highest in our ratings," said Jim Willcox, senior electronics editor at Consumer Reports.

As for the popularity of streaming services, 52 percent of the 15,277 ConsumerReport.org subscribers polled said they used a streaming video service in the previous month, compared with 47 percent who saw a movie at a theater, 43 percent who rented a DVD or Blu-ray disc, and 32 percent who used their cable provider's VOD service.

The news wasn’t all bad for Netflix in the survey. Netflix's disc-by-mail service and independent video stores were judged to have a more satisfying selection of titles, including current ones, than even the best streaming services.

Redbox kiosks were neck-and-neck with Netflix and independent stores in overall satisfaction but fell short on selection. Survey respondents were not as impressed with Blockbuster stores, Blockbuster Express kiosks or Blockbuster Total Access disc-by-mail.

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