Special Report

This Is America's Worst Streaming Service

Premium video streaming is in trouble. Subscriber growth seems to be waning, and customer satisfaction is no longer as high as it used to be. America’s worst streaming service is Crackle.

The growth of the wildly successful Disney+ has slowed considerably, Walt Disney Company noted in its recent financial report. While Disney+ has 118.1 million subscribers — among the largest in the world — new subscriber additions have almost disappeared, the company said. The company blames the problem on fewer people staying home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Netflix, the industry leader, recently posted a similar slowdown.

There are two challenges the industry faces. The first is that the decline in COVID-19 cases — before omicron — has allowed people to return to theaters. The other challenge is an increase in competition. More and more large media companies have decided to launch services of their own. The industry has become tremendously fragmented. Research demonstrates that the average American subscribes to four services. However, many more than that are available.

The quality of streaming services has also become an issue. The widely followed American Customer Satisfaction Index looked at customer satisfaction of streaming services. (This is where you can stream the best classic shows right now.)

To find America’s worst streaming service,  24/7 Tempo reviewed ACSI’s 2020-2021 Telecommunications Study, which includes streaming services. The study is based on interviews with 37,907 customers conducted between April 1, 2020 and March 29, 2021. Services are ranked on a scale from zero to 100.

Customer satisfaction from streaming services continues to be higher than from other telecom services, but that edge has started to disappear. The authors of the study commented: “While consumers still prefer streaming above all other telecom industries, its stranglehold on the segment is slipping as its lead over the next closest industry shrinks to just 3 points.” 

Some of the results are unexpected. The average service received a score of 74. Industry leader Netflix scored 75. The other leader in subscribers, Amazon Prime Video, scored 74. Amazon’s video service is part of its Prime paid program for customers, which includes other perks such as free shipping of products bought at Amazon.com.

The streaming service with the best customer satisfaction score is Disney+ at 78. While there is no exact reason given for this, Disney+ does have a tremendous movie library from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel. (These are the best comedy movies available to stream right now.)

At the very bottom of the list is Crackle, a service few people have heard of. It scored 68. It is owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and was once a part of Sony.

Click here for the worst and best streaming services

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