Apple TV+ Is Rated the Highest, but Netflix Is Still the ‘Must-Have’ Service

Apple TV+ has the highest average IMDb score for its streaming library for the second year.
person holding phone showing Netflix Apple TV plus and Amazon Prime video logos Credit: Audio und werbung / Shutterstock
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Apple’s strategy of focusing on quality programming for Apple TV+ may be paying off, but it still lags behind the competition when it comes to being an indispensable streaming service.

Fintech company Self set out to determine which streaming service offers the best value for the money, undertaking an analysis of the content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Paramount+, and Peacock. The study looked at the amount of content available on each service and IMDb ratings for the shows carried on each one.

In the process, it discovered that Apple TV+ has the highest average IMDb score for its streaming library for the second year, despite having the smallest library of content by far.

Apple TV+ also came out on top in more specific areas, including the highest-rated action, adventure, comedy, and war content, and the highest-quality family content — shows suitable for children ages seven and under.

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That last distinction isn’t a huge surprise, considering that Apple has the Charlie Brown and Fraggle Rock franchises under its belt, along with a partnership with Sesame Workshop.

  • A more recent spate of Peanuts specials also likely helped propel Apple TV+ into the first place, with a score this year of 7.34/10, beating last year’s winner, HBO Max, which came in at 6.99.
  • Nevertheless, Disney+ got the nod for the best value streaming service for children. Not only because it’s Disney, but it also offers over 1,139 titles made for younger audiences — that’s 1,101 more than you’ll find on Apple TV+.
  • Notably, Apple TV+ also saw a massive rise over last year’s score for the average rating for dramas. Its 2021 3.9 average rose to 7.34 in 2022 — the highest of any streaming service.
  • Hulu edged out Apple TV+ for the best ratings for 4K content, scoring 7.32 vs. Apple’s 7.31. Paramount+ came in a close third at 7.30, while Netflix and Disney+ lagged behind at 6.86 and 6.69, respectively.
  • Apple added the highest percentage of new content, at 55.78%, although that may not be saying much, as its library pales compared to all of its competitors. In raw numbers, Netflix added 1,404 new shows, followed by Disney+ at 469. In other words, each of these services added many times more new titles than Apple’s entire content library.
  • Apple scored top ratings in the action (7.58), adventure (7.31), and war (7.55) genres despite having fewer than 15 titles in each of those categories.

Self notes that the study includes an analysis of 19,336 TV shows, movies, and documentaries across all platforms between March 2021 and April 2022. Data on genre, age ratings, and reviews all came from IMDb.

Netflix Remains on Top

Despite Apple TV+ offering some of the most compelling content, it’s one of the first services most streaming subscribers would toss aside if they were forced to choose.

Another study from Whip Media reported on by Variety notes that Netflix still comes out on top as the single “must-have” service among streaming subscribers — even though it’s in last place for its perceived value.

In other words, even though Netflix is seen as overpriced, it’s also the service that most folks have decided they can’t live without. It’s a “love-hate relationship,” as Variety notes, or perhaps just an addiction.

When asked which service they would choose if they could only keep one, 31 percent of respondents chose Netflix. While that’s a significant drop from last year’s 41 percent score, it’s still head and shoulders above the rest.

Second place went to HBO Max, at 19 percent, moving up from 13 percent last year, while Hulu sat in third place at 17 percent, dropping from 21 percent last year. Disney+, Amazon, and Paramount+ beat out Apple, where only 2 percent of respondents said it would be the only streaming service they’d want, surpassing only Discovery+ and Peacock.

Although Netflix’s scores dropped quite a bit this year, the study attributes that to the company’s recent price hikes. With the mid-tier plan rising 11 percent to hit $15.49/month in the U.S., 69 percent of former Netflix customers told Whip Media that this was the main reason they chose to drop the service.

Apple TV+ may not be a “must-have” streaming service, but there’s a good chance Apple doesn’t mind that too much. From the beginning, Tim Cook has said that he expected Apple TV+ to be an “add-on service” rather than something that would directly compete as a replacement for other services.

From that perspective, Apple TV+ is undoubtedly a success. Not only does it offer some of the most compelling programming, but customer satisfaction with the service is only getting better. As Variety’s Todd Spangler notes, Apple TV+ had a 76% customer satisfaction score in 2022, jumping ahead of several competitors.

Apple TV+ made the biggest gains in customer satisfaction in 2022, climbing 14 percentage points to 76%, jumping ahead of services like Prime Video, Peacock and Discovery+, per the study.

Variety

While that score still put it slightly behind Netflix (80%) and Paramount+ (79%), Apple TV+ was one of the few services that saw its customer satisfaction score grow. Most remained relatively static, while Netflix lost 10 percent over last year, dropping to fourth place behind HBO Max (94%), Disney+ (88%), and Hulu (87%).

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