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ITunes, Fox lead in mobile streaming customer satisfaction: report

With a shift in consumers preferring mobile over desktop for media and entertainment consumption, iTunes and Fox are leading the way in customer satisfaction, according to a new report from ForeSee.

ITunes received the highest score in the study with a score of 80 out of 100. Fox topped both the sports and news categories, with both Fox Sports and Fox News receiving a 79.

?The balance of power has finally shifted from the company to the consumer, and now we?re seeing the end of that, that it has shifted from desktop to mobile,? said Eric Feinberg, senior director of mobile, media and entertainment at ForeSee, Ann Arbor, MI. ?Mobile meets [consumer] expectations greater than desktop meets their expectations.

?When you look at mobile, people want convenience and quality in a quick way,? he said. ?You can download and view news content and sports content with great ease on your mobile device. And that alignment of expectations has really matured over the last year as opposed to the desktop.

?People like the flexibility of having the convenience of the mobile device with the quality and the speed that they?ve come to expect from desktop. We are past that shifted balance from desktop to mobile, and now it?s up to mobile to continue innovating so consumers can take advantage of that screen.?

The ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index analyzed the top 22 United States news, sports and streaming companies. It collected more than 5,500 surveys between June 5 and 14.

Streaming leader
The streaming TV and movies category was the best scoring category in the report with an overall score of 78. At the top of this category, not surprisingly, was iTunes with a score of 80.

HBO Go and Netflix were close behind with a 79, and Amazon Instant received a 78. Hulu Plus and Crackle each got a 75.

Since iTunes pioneered the streaming model, it is no surprise that the company maintains the lead in consumer satisfaction. Apple created the standard, and it would take a lot to beat iTunes.

ITunes also has an advantage since its model is that of select and download, so users do not have to deal with the same Internet interruptions that other sites encounter.

Additionally, iTunes is pre-installed on all Apple products, providing a significant market advantage. Once a consumer downloads a show from iTunes, the show will play seamlessly on a mobile device.

Top of the news
Fox News tied with NBC News for the top news mobile site with a score of 79. Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Google News all scored 78, while CBS News got a 73.

According to Mr. Feinberg, one of the main reasons that Fox News is so successful is that it caters to a more specific audience: right-leaning Americans. The other news stations attract more diverse audiences, and it is harder to please everyone than to please a more like-minded group of consumers.

The ForeSee report also looked at which news sites consumers most trust, and 44 percent agreed with Fox News, 29 percent strongly agreed and 22 percent were neutral. The remaining 5 percent either disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Fox Sports also led the sports category with a 79. Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Bleacher Report received a 77, CBS Sports got a 75 and Yahoo Sports got a 74.

Interestingly, the sports mobile sites and apps category has the highest percentage at 23 percent of users who frequently look at ads.

According to Mr. Feinberg, Fox Sports tops this category because it offers fewer apps that deliver more, as opposed to other companies such as ESPN that offer many different apps.

?Do you want fewer apps that do more, or fragmented apps?? Mr. Feinberg said. ?I think what we?re going to see is that consumers want one that delivers very deeply for them.?

Fox Sports will also be shaking up this category on Aug. 17 with the launch of Fox Sports 1, a rebranding of the company.

For media and entertainment companies to stay in the mobile game, they need to make sure that they keep consumers satisfied.

?The most important thing to be successful in mobile is performance, whatever they can do to protect against buffering so that they can have a continuous stream of content is paramount,? Mr. Feinberg said.

?The second thing is about the perception of content depth,? he said. ?People perceive Netflix to have all sorts of content even though content comes and goes, but people don?t perceive that Amazon Instant and Hulu Plus have the kind of depth that Netflix has, so I think it?s the ability to market that there is a great depth of content for each of the streaming sites.

?From a customer experience standpoint, it?s about delivering a mobile customer experience that allows them to sort out content that is unique to them. That?s something that a lot of these apps don?t do a great job of yet, to let consumers really explore content before they decide what to watch.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York