Entertainment

Global Streaming Users Say Pricing Options, User-Friendly Interface Are Even More Important Than Content

Consumers in several countries say the ability to choose from multiple pricing tiers is a major factor in determining what streaming services to sign up for

The iPad interface for HBO Max, a streaming service whose subscribers have complained about app glitches. More than half of consumers in all countries Morning Consult recently surveyed said it was important for a streaming service to have a user-friendly interface. (Courtesy of HBO Max)

Global Streaming: By the Numbers

As streaming services look to combat slowing U.S. subscriber growth and churn in an increasingly competitive landscape, many have made major investments in international markets in hopes of keeping the revenue flowing. In Morning Consult’s latest entertainment series, reporter Sarah Shevenock takes a close look at the streaming habits of consumers from around the world, including China, Mexico, India and more.

Other stories in the series: How Much Consumers in Each Country Pay for Streaming | How Gen Z Streams TV Around the World | Consumers in Every Country Prefer Streaming With Ads if It Means a Cheaper Bill | Weekly vs. Binge Watching: Where the World Stands

With so many streaming options now available to consumers worldwide, entertainment companies are trying to figure out what features help them stand out from the rest. New data from Morning Consult reveals that consumers consider several factors when deciding whether to sign up for a new streaming service, but that three in particular are most important: pricing options, a large content library and a user-friendly interface.

Global Streaming Users Prioritize Pricing Options, User-Friendly Interfaces

Respondents were asked how important the following features are when considering subscribing to a streaming service:

Surveys conducted March 3-8, 2022, among a representative sample of 999-2,211 adults in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2-3 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
The most important features in a streaming service
  • Multiple pricing options was the feature deemed most important by consumers in 10 of the countries included in the survey, while adults in 11 countries said parental controls were the least important feature. In the United States, 83% of respondents said pricing options are important, while just 48% said parental controls are important.
  • More than half of consumers in all countries said it was important for a streaming service to have a user-friendly interface. Users have criticized some services, such as HBO Max, for difficult viewing experiences. 
  • When it comes to a service’s catalog, respondents gave a slight edge in importance to the amount of content over quality content, as consumers in 13 of the surveyed countries said having a large library is more important than having original or critically acclaimed content. 
The impact

In the global streaming wars, strategy often revolves around content, with services dueling over the rights to franchises and intellectual property that will likely drive consumers to their platform. 

But consumers have other needs. Viewers want to be able to easily access their favorite programming and curate their viewing experiences. For example, Japanese consumers prioritize pricing options and the user interface over a large library, a view shared by respondents in Brazil and the United Kingdom. 

Content may still ultimately be king, but it’s clear that it will take more than good shows to convince people to empty their pockets. 

Surveys conducted March 3-8, 2022, among a representative sample of 999-2,211 adults in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2-3 percentage points.

Morning Consult