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Subscription video services’ recommendations aren’t working, study claims

Streaming video services invest heavily in technology to improve their ability to show users a set of personalized recommendations about what to what next. But according to a new research study released today by UserTesting, it seems that consumers aren’t watching much recommended content – in fact, only 29 percent of the study’s participants said they actually watched something the service recommended. On some services, those figures were extremely low – for example, only 6 percent of HBO NOW users said they watched recommended content. That’s probably because consumers found it difficult to locate HBO NOW’s recommendations in the first place. The service was given a low 16.8 “ customer experience”  score on this front, the study says. That’s a much lower score than all other services analyzed, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube TV – all of which had scores in the 80’s. (See first chart, below). To be fair, HBO NOW doesn’t really do recommendations in the same way as the others. Its app offers a “Featured” selection of content for all users, and, if you scroll down further, there are a couple of editorial collections, like “Essential HBO” or “14 Hidden Gems You Missed the First Time.” A separate “Collections” section includes more of these suggestions, like “New Movies,” “Just Added,” “Last Chance” and others. The lack of personalized, easily located recommendations also impacted HBO NOW’s overall score in the UserTesting study, which rated the services across a variety of metrics including availability of content, friction-free viewing, ease of scrubbing and episode scanning, and other factors. HBO NOW was also was dinged by survey respondents for lagging, freezing and buffering issues, though they said they appreciated its clean design. Netflix’s overall score was 89.5, making it the highest-rated streaming service among those analyzed due to having the most relevant recommendations, overall high ease-of-use, and a speedy service

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Subscription video services’ recommendations aren’t working, study claims

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