HBO Max ranks highest for SVOD value, while Netflix drops to last

New data from Whip Media indicates consumers are seeing less value in a Netflix subscription, as the streaming giant ranked last among leading SVODs in a customer satisfaction survey that also showed HBO Max is head of the pack.

Perceived value and related satisfaction reflects a relationship between quality of content a service offers and price, the report noted, and the difference between Netflix and HBO Max standings show a stark contrast despite similar price points.

According to the Streaming Satisfaction report, 85% of respondents were satisfied (which combines "satisfied" and "very satisfied" choices) with the value HBO Max provides. It ranked ahead of Disney+ (83% satisfied with value), Hulu (79%), Paramount+ (69%), Amazon (68%), Discovery+ (65%), Peacock (64%), Apple TV+ (63%) – with notably last place Netflix rounding out the eight streaming services with 62% happy with the value.

The study authors noted that standard Netflix service costs $15.49 per month while the ad-free version of HBO Max is $14.99, “and yet HBO Max is considered the most satisfying value of all the services we surveyed and Netflix was the lowest.”

Only respondents who were subscribers to the specific platform at the time of the survey could respond to the question.

Whip Media streaming satisfaction survey
Netflix ranked last in terms of consumers' satisfaction with value, and had the highest percentage for dissatisfied users.  (Whip Media)


And while Netflix wasn’t far off in value satisfaction from other services that ranked lower among the eight, such as Peacock and Discovery+, a negative user perception for the streaming giant could be further seen in those that said they were unsatisfied (which comprised both unsatisfied and very unsatisfied). A full 20% of Netflix users fell said they were dissatisfied with the value of their Netflix subscription – eight percentage points higher than the next closest service Apple TV+, for which 12% reported dissatisfaction.

Comparatively, only had 4% of HBO Max subscribers were dissatisfied with the value, while 5% said the same for Disney+. Discovery+, Hulu, Paramount+, Amazon, and Peacock all had less than 10% reporting dissatisfaction with the service’s value.   

Not seeing as much value in a Netflix subscription comes as the streaming giant reported net subscriber losses in Q1 and projected additional losses in Q2. As it looks for growth opportunities, Netflix plans to introduce a lower-cost ad-supported tier, possibly as early as the fourth quarter, and is currently on the hunt for partners.

Cost was the top reason respondents of the Whip Media survey cited for ditching Netflix, but a lack of interesting programming and overall value were also factors.

Among those that canceled Netflix, more than half (55%) said they did so because they weren’t getting enough value from the service, while 69% blamed price hikes for the subscription (respondents could pick more than one reason for this question). Netflix raised prices for new and existing U.S. and Canada users in early January.

Nearly 30% of those who canceled Netflix reported a lack of interesting library content as a reason, while 28% said they weren’t interested in the original programming.

HBO Max meanwhile is hitting the mark with consumers, firing across all cylinders when it comes to overall satisfaction and customers feeling fulfilled with the quality and variety of its content, results from Whip Media show. The streaming service outranked other leading SVODs for overall satisfaction, including Netflix which fell two spots.

When it comes to overall satisfaction, HBO Max for a second year led the rankings, as 94% of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service, up two percentage points from 2021. Disney+ and Hulu were close on its heels with the second and third highest satisfaction results, at 88% and 87%, respectively.

Netflix was still in play but fell from a close second in 2021 to fourth place for the 2022 survey, as its overall satisfaction percentage dropped 10 points to 80%.

Apple TV+ saw the greatest gains, increasing 14 points to 76% for those that are happy with the service. This enabled it to nab the sixth spot, coming in behind Paramount+ which had 79% satisfied or very satisfied – and jumping ahead of Amazon, Discovery+ and Peacock. While NBCUniversal’s Peacock rounded out the bottom in overall SVOD satisfaction, the streaming service saw an increase from 62% in 2021 to 68% in 2022.

Whip Media streaming satisfaction survey

HBO Max, Disney+ lead on content satisfaction

HBO Max and Disney+ also scored top marks for both quality and variety of content on the platforms.

Users were asked to rank satisfaction across quality and variety for original series, library series and movies. When it comes to quality library content, Amazon only beat out Apple TV+ in satisfying customers. AppleTV+ scored high for quality of original series but viewers were less impressed with its library series, which ranked the lowest among SVODs.

“While Netflix also scores well with its original series, it is worth noting that it is 9 points lower than the similarly priced HBO Max,” wrote Whip Media in the report. “Netflix ranks ahead of most services on movie quality, but significantly behind HBO Max and Disney+.”

Whip Media streaming satisfaction survey

Netflix ranked more competitively for its variety of originals compared to quality, but still trailed behind HBO Max and Disney+ when it came to diversity of its library content and movies.

For more on Netflix’s content reputation becoming somewhat lackluster as it focused on quantity over quality, check out this column from TVREV’s Alan Wolk.

HBO Max also surpassed Hulu over the past year to reach second place as the service consumers would keep if they could only choose one. It's worth noting that Netflix still ranked first as the indispensable service  – but its dominance declined as those picking Netflix if they could only have one service dropped 10 points from 41% in 2021 to 31% in 2022.

User experience a bright spot for Netflix, Amazon has work to do

While Netflix fell short on content satisfaction metrics, the streamer led for user experience and program recommendations, with 88% and 71% saying they were satisfied with those functions, respectively.

HBO Max was second for recommendations at 63% satisfied, while 75% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the user experience. Along with Netflix, also outpacing HBO Max on user experience were Disney+ (82%) and Hulu (76%).

It looks like Amazon has some work to do, as it ranked near the bottom for both recommendations and UX. Whip Media categorized the low regard for Amazon’s program recommendations as puzzling “given their data driven approach and tech talent.”

“However, part of program recommendation relies on having titles that users will like, and the results aren’t encouraging there,” the report stated.

Based on the survey results, it looks like Netflix isn’t the only one facing a consumer perception issue.

“Amazon’s service clearly has a perception problem,” wrote Whip Media. “Their library is enormous, yet viewers’ perception of their quality and variety are ranked near the bottom of the list on satisfaction.”