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Survey: Disney Plus Getting Higher Marks From Consumers Than Apple TV Plus

Disney Plus on Chromebook
Courtesy of Google

Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus launched within the same month in late 2019, but they’re getting very different receptions in the marketplace.

That’s according to new data from a survey conducted in December 2019 by YouGov in partnership with Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP). The survey was conducted online among 1,182 U.S. adults.

Of surveyed respondents, 76% gave Disney Plus a 4 or 5 out of 5 when asked to rank their satisfaction with the service, with 0 being “very dissatisfied” and 5 being “very satisfied.” Meanwhile, this figure was just 48% for Apple TV Plus. Only respondents who had indicated they had used the services were asked to rank them.

Not far behind Disney Plus in the ranking was SVOD market incumbents Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu. And while Disney Plus appears polished amongst its SVOD peers, the satisfaction score of Apple TV Plus implies it may not be meeting user expectations just yet.

One of these key areas where Apple TV doesn’t measure up to Disney Plus and the others is product design. In fact, 53% of survey respondents gave Apple TV Plus a 4 or 5 out of 5 when asked to rank the service’s user interface, with 0 being “very hard to use” and 5 being “very easy to use.” Comparatively, 77% gave Disney Plus a 4 or 5, which notably is higher than the figures for Prime Video (68%) and Hulu (73%).

Something that may explain Apple’s relatively low user interface ranking is the fact that Apple TV Plus is housed within the Apple TV app, which functions as more of an overall digital content marketplace than just a place to watch Apple originals.

This blending of Apple TV Plus and non-Apple TV Plus content within the Apple TV app could be one thing that’s causing some frustration among consumers that just want to go straight to watching Apple originals like “The Morning Show.”

In fact, the editor-in-chief of Apple-focused publication MacStories was so compelled to be able to quickly access Apple TV Plus originals that he created an iOS shortcut that lets users go directly to the pages of originals like “The Morning Show” in November. 

On the other hand, Disney Plus functions like a more typical streaming service and houses content owned, licensed, or created by its parent company’s various brands. And the way content is laid out in scrollable rows is more reminiscent of Netflix, which the majority of the U.S. has access to, than Apple TV Plus is. 

This may help explain why survey respondents indicated that it took them longer to find content to watch on Apple TV Plus than on Disney Plus, even though Disney had 7,500 TV episodes and 500 movies at launch, while Apple’s SVOD launched with close to only 10 originals (Apple offers no licensed catalog content).

Still, while Apple’s user satisfaction scores lag those of its SVOD peers, it’s early days for the service that’s been on the market for less than three months. The tech company will surely listen to the voices giving feedback for Apple TV Plus as they get louder, especially as HBO Max and Peacock heat up the streaming competition in the coming months.

And making good on improving the user experience could bear fruit for Apple. An easy-to-use interface was cited by 25% of consumers as among the most important features in influencing them to pay for a SVOD, according to a March 2019 study by PwC.