Global insight on the streaming wars - what do app reviews reveal?
(Maps viewable on desktop only)
Phrasia has analysed 7,500 open-text app reviews for Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon, across the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and Japan. The analysis shows that each app has carved out a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. The data also reflects a more recent development: Netflix has a high number of negative reviews related to controversy related to the movie "Cuties."
Each dot on the below map represents the full text of a review, in the original language along with English.
Hover your cursor over the dots to read the underlying statement for each.
Netflix and the Cuties boycott: How bad is it?
If you are not familiar with the Cuties controversy, hover your cursor over the 'Cuties fallout' bar on the above graph to see what people are saying. In the US, Cuties appears to be having a significant impact, as:
- The 'Cuties fallout' cluster is defining the current conversation about Netflix - at least among app reviewers in the US. 46% of the most recent 500 reviews for Amazon in the US are in this cluster
- 97% of reviews in the Cuties fallout cluster are rated as “1” on 5-point scale
- These low app ratings result in an average Netflix app rating of 2.1 on 5 point scale within the US. This compares poorly to an average US rating of 3.4 for Disney+, and 3.2 for Amazon Prime video.
- By contrast, relatively few Amazon reviews in Canada, UK, Germany, or Japan mention Cuties. 'Cuties fallout' comprises only 9% of Canadian Netflix reviews, and less than 5% in all other countries - far below the 46% measured in the US
- Is the Cuties boycott a 'coordinated effort' or a spontaneous groundswell? Though people may not always follow through on their threats, the Cuties fallout cluster features many different ways of stating the same fundamental point, suggesting a true flashpoint reflecting individual views. If the Cuties comments were primarily planned/driven by an organisation, we would likely see a tight cluster of highly similar or repetititive reviews, in contrast to the variety of articulations on the above map.
The map below is the same as the map above: all of the dots are in the same place. We have coloured them by app, in order to show how each of the three has a unique "footprint" vis a vis the clusters. Click on the dots in the legend at the right to see one app at a time
App reviews by platform
Disney: 'Love content' narrative
73% of ‘love content’ reviews are for Disney+. This reflects underlying strength in content properties and characters, in addition to the passion Disney lovers have for the brand. This suggests that Disney's equities as a brand are highly transferrable and relevant to the streaming space.
96% of reviews about ‘extra charges/gaps’ are for Disney+, representing a potential threat to the brand's goodwill with viewers
86% of ‘value calculation’ comments are through ratings of Amazon, with a many mentioning Amazon Prime specifically. This is a clear reflection of the fact that the Prime proposition is fundamental to how Amazon "shows up" as a brand in the streaming space.
85% of ‘Annoying ads’ reviews were also from Amazon.
Amazon: 'value calculation' narrative
Netflix: 'Show selection' narrative
As noted above, Cuties objections are a dominant feature in Netlix US reviews - at least recently.
Netflix's relative strength is in the ‘show selection’ cluster - where the company comprises 52% of all reviews.
This reflects a broader challenge for an incumbent which trailblazed the space of video streaming. To grow, Netflix has to expand audience, and to expand audience, they have to offer progressively more content (eg show selection). However, the broader the canvas for Netflix's programming, the more likely that it will hit the same cultural faultlines faced by other iconic US brands, such as Nike, the NFL, and others. Cuties is an early test of how Netflix will navigate these faultlines.
App reviews by country: a deep dive
How do the reviews play out by country? This map provides a view that breaks out the same reviews, delineated by country.
Click on the legend to see which countries have a similar profile (eg US and Canada) versus different (UK and Japan).
Disney: a UX challenge in Japan?
The clustering in the maps allow for deeper dive, resulting in simple, actionable insight. For example, the below chart contrasts some of the largest clusters in Japan Disney+ reviews versus Disney+ US reviews. As strong as Disney+'s content is, a disproportionate number of reviews in Japan cite bugs/UX/letdowns and subtitles. These comprise more than 45 % of all reviews in the market, suggesting that Disney+ has room for improvement in the ease and usability of its platform which are specific to Japan.