Whip Media’s new Streaming Satisfaction 2022 report reveals that following its recent price increase and facing greater competition from rivals, Netflix surprisingly ranks last in the US in terms of perceived value, while HBO Max currently stands as the clear leader.

Last year, Netflix was among the leading SVODs in customer satisfaction and was the runaway leader as the indispensable streaming service. Yet, the new Streaming Satisfaction 2022 report from Whip Media paints a drastically different picture.

The SVOD marketplace has matured and consumers started comparing Netflix’s content with that of its new competitors, took into account its recently increased price, and the perception of the service took a hit. Perception met reality on April 19, 2022, when Netflix announced a net loss of 200,000 subscribers worldwide, including over 600,000 in the US/Canada region. Wall Street erased a third of the company’s value in one day. As a result, observers re-evaluated the company’s future, as well as the subscription video business as a whole.

Meanwhile, rival services HBO Max and Disney+ have solidified their already favorable positions in consumers’ minds, and at lower price points than Netflix’s. Apple TV+ has made the greatest gain in satisfaction, built on the success of its original series, though it still trails most of the SVODs in overall satisfaction.

The reports main findings:

HBO Max Cements Its Lead As The Most Satisfying SVOD

According to the report, HBO Max has the highest satisfaction (very satisfied plus satisfied) among the major SVOD platforms. In 2021, HBO Max also led on this question, but it now has a higher margin of victory. Netflix ranked a very close second last year but fell to fourth on the list, due to a 10 point decline, the most significant in the survey. Apple TV+ made the strongest move to the upside, increasing 14 points in satisfaction. Last year it was the lowest performing service on this measure; it has now moved ahead of Amazon, Discovery+ and Peacock.

Netflix Users Less Likely To Keep The Service Than Last Year, Apple TV+ More Likely

Most SVOD users plan to hold onto their services, but across a range of likelihoods. Like last year, HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney+ form the top tier on this question. Amazon is there too, but given their lower satisfaction scores, this likely has much to do with other benefits of Prime membership. Netflix saw the biggest decline, a 12 point decrease. It was top of the list last year, but is now ranked fifth. Apple TV+ made the strongest gain, up 19 points.

Is There An Indispensable Service?

Netflix continues to be the service that a plurality of consumers view as indispensable. However, that dominance has been significantly diminished over the past year. HBO Max picked up 6 of the 10 points Netflix declined on this question, moving past Hulu into second position. Netflix’s lead over its closest competitor is down to only 12 points; last year it was 20. It is worth noting that among respondents with children, Disney+ goes up to 18% on this question, moving it into second place, but only a point ahead of HBO Max and 2 ahead of Hulu. No other service made a change of more than 2 points in that category

Elements Of Satisfaction

Quality Of Programming: Subscribers were asked to evaluate each of the SVODs in terms of the quality of their original series, library series and movies. For these three types of content, HBO Max and Disney+ clearly lead in top two box satisfaction (very satisfied or satisfied).

Variety of Programming: HBO Max leads in satisfaction with variety for every content category, with Disney+ close behind. Netflix’s variety of originals earns them a more competitive position than on quality, but it still lags behind HBO Max and Disney+ on library and movies.

User Experience: Despite faltering on content satisfaction measures, Netflix is clearly best in breed for both user experience and suggesting content to subscribers. It is somewhat surprising that Amazon, the most experienced streamer after Netflix, ranks near the bottom on both of these aspects.

Value: The contrast in perceived value between HBO Max and Netflix is perhaps the most important finding of this research. These services are similarly priced, (per month, Netflix standard service is $15.49, HBO Max ad-free is $14.99) and yet HBO Max is considered the most satisfying value of all the services we surveyed and Netflix was lowest.

To create the report, Whip Media surveyed nearly 2,500 users of its TV Time app in the US. The complete report can be found here.