|Posted on July 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM|
While there are streaming providers who may be more popular than Vudu, according to Consumer Reports study released July 26, 2012, it is ranked best in terms of performance and overall customer satisfaction. Apple iTunes comes in a close second, followed by Amazon Instant Video. All three of these services are pay per view, and not all-access streaming libraries like Netflix and Hulu Plus.
According to ConsumerReport.org, 52% of the 15,000+ subscribers polled have used a streaming service in the past month, compared to 47% who viewed a movie at a theater, 43% who rented a DVD, and 32% who watched a movie via pay per view from their television provider.
Jim Wilcox, Senior Electronics Editors, said "Our survey revealed that a healthy selection of titles is one of the biggest factors in overall satisfaction with video services, which is why disc rental services and pay-per-view streaming services scored the highest in our Rankings."
While Vudu is ranked #1, it is not the number one streaming provider in the United States. Netflix has, and continues to hold that crown in terms of subscribers and / or account holders.. According to Consumer Reports, customers' biggest complaint with Netflix was it's limited selection of newly released movies.
It's important to note that we are comparing apples to oranges here. When you rent a movie on Vudu, you'll pay about $3. If you rent a Vudu 99 cent movie of the day, you'll pay $1. Compare that to the "all you can stream" unlimited access you get for $8 per month with Netflix or Hulu Plus. Renting 3-5 movies from Vudu can quickly cost you the same as a monthly Netflix subscription.
It's also crucial to understand that streaming service subscription providers have their hands tied. It is the owners of the copyrights of the new releases who do not grant licensing agreements to Netflix or Hulu. Rather, they allow providers like Vudu, Amazon Instant Video or iTunes to have first dibs, because a single rental generates more revenues than a flat monthly subscription. Likewise, by controlling the release of these newer releases, these copyright holders can create a "scarcity" environment where interested parties are more likely to go to the theater, rent a movie, or purchase a copy of the movie. There is, without a doubt, bigger revenues generated from these other sources as opposed to a streaming library where a blanket licensing agreement allows a subscriber to watch a movie whenever and however often they wish to.
In fact, Netflix disc by mail service (or Blockbuster, Redbox, etc.) has a comparable selection of films to Vudu and other services, but it operates on a queue basis, which adds to the "scarcity" factor that coyright holders are betting on. In other words, they believe you will get tired of waiting for the DVD to become available through (Netflix / Blockbuster) and will simplty rent it from Vudu, iTunes or Amazon, or perhaps you'll even purchase a physical copy.
Streaming 411 has long advocated for a home streaming selection that includes a monthly subscription to a library like Netflix or Hulu, plus supplementing with pay per view titles from Vudu, Amazon or iTunes.