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Study: Netflix Still Content King but Trails Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+ in Quality

Joshua Thiede

Despite the narrative that the streaming service is on its last leg, Netflix continues to lead in the amount of content it provides to its subscribers, but the quality of its library doesn’t compare to its major competitors, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Disney+ according to a study by Self Financial. The new report looks at IMDb aggregate reviews, comparing each major service’s library size, quality, and cost-to-value ratio.

The Self Financial report examines the quality of content from the industry’s current top eight streaming services and breaks down user-reported scores in an effort to determine which streamer provides the most value for customers’ cash. The system utilizes 10-star ratings, with Self Financial considering content with eight stars and over as “excellent,” six to eight as “good,” and the remainder as “OK” or “poor.”

With over 6,000 entries in its library, Netflix has the largest out of the current spate of streamers, more than its top four quality competitors combined. Even so, IMDb scores indicate that quality is lacking when compared to the same services, hovering at around 73%. Conversely, Apple TV+ leads in quality with almost 90% of its offered shows and films receiving a six-star review or better, even though the fledgling service’s library is uniquely small at only 147 titles. Following the lead in quality are HBO Max at 83% as well as Disney+ and Peacock with 78% ratings.

When factoring in subscription costs, Apple TV+ is the big loser according to Self Financial as its $4.99 per month price doesn’t seem to justify its meager offerings. Even so, the service still retains loyalty from consumers who are looking for services based solely on content quality. The study shows that Netflix offers its customers a better value for their money, with 270 “excellent” and “good” shows available for each dollar subscribers spend. Prime Video comes in second for value, with 25 “excellent” and 53 “good” offerings per dollar in its library.

While the Self Financial study may show that Netflix still provides the best value in content quality to dollars spent, there is more to a video-on-demand platform than its library. Consumers may value quality content and gravitate toward the best deals in that regard, but other factors including screen availability and variety of content also serve to influence customers’ decisions.

A recent report also indicated that for customers who cancel their Netflix subscription, they are disproportionately turning to Apple TV+ and Disney+ for their streaming needs.

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