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U.S. Viewers Like OTT Services and Live Linear TV: J.D. Power

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A study on television viewing by consumer insights company J.D. Power shows how U.S. TV viewing is changing in complex ways. First off, use and satisfaction for streaming services is up. The overall satisfaction for streaming services is high (7.91 out of 10) and reliability is even better (7.97). Both numbers show improvements from last year. Meanwhile, satisfaction with pay TV is down, going from 724 last year (out of 1,000) to 710 this year.

Even though people are happy with streaming and unhappy with pay TV, the number of people planning to cut the cord has declined. This year, 8 percent of respondents say they'll cancel pay TV service in the next 12 months. Last year, 9 percent said so.

And while on-demand viewing services are growing, J.D. Power found that viewing is up for "destination TV," meaning scheduled TV programs watched at their set times. As TV viewing has become increasingly niche, watching event programs such as awards shows live, or watching major popular scripted shows at their set times, has become increasingly important for viewers who want to maintain a sense of community around television.

“We’re at a fascinating inflection point in the evolution of cable TV and streaming video services where it appears that consumers are most satisfied when they are using a combination of the two," notes Peter Cunningham, technology, media, and telecommunications lead for J.D. Power. "Yes, there is a heightened interest in streaming and customer satisfaction with streaming is steadily increasing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be an epidemic of cord-cutting. In fact, our data shows that the number of true cord-cutters has declined slightly this year while the number of people tuning into ‘destination TV’ via their traditional cable provider has increased significantly.”

Among pay TV providers, DirecTV has the strongest national satisfaction ranking, followed by Dish, Charter Spectrum, and Comcast.

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