Netflix's big competitors are catching up

The crown netflixNetflixClaire Foy stars as Queen Elizabeth on Netflix’s ‘The Crown.’

Netflix is still the gold standard in streaming video, but its rivals are catching up to it in an important area: how happy customers are with the service.

In a note sent on Monday, analysts at UBS said that based on their survey work, Amazon and Hulu have pulled alongside Netflix in overall consumer satisfaction in the US. Competition in Europe is heating up as well, with UBS noting that pay TV operators in the US and Europe “have made significant strides in making content available for streaming and improving their user interfaces.”

Netflix customers are loyal. In research published this April, analysts from Parks Associates found that Netflix subscribers were much less likely to cancel than those of Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. Only 9% of its subscriber base had canceled in the last year, Parks Associates found, compared to Hulu, which saw a full half of its current subscriber base cancel in the last year.

But Netflix saw an unexpected uptick in cancellations last quarter. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings blamed the increase on the way the conversation around Netflix’s price hike played out in the media. But perhaps another reason is that streaming competitors are stepping up how much value they are bringing to the table.

“We believe demand for consumer media time, attention and wallet is intensifying and investors should continue to monitor competitive threats closely,” the UBS analysts wrote.

Original future

One bright spot of Netflix’s future UBS pointed to for Netflix was the success of its original content, which Netflix has said in the future will make up roughly 50% of the service.

“We also found viewers of Netflix’s original series are growing, with roughly 40% of U.S. subs watching most or all episodes, up from ~31% a year ago,” the analysts wrote.

But there are negatives as well. “Marco Polo”‘s second season saw less search interest than its first, and “The Get Down” saw relatively low interest, especially given it cost a reported $120 million.

“It is also unclear that originals aimed at demographics where Netflix is underpenetrated, such as older consumers and those living in Middle America, are making headway driving adoption,” the analysts wrote. “For example ‘The Ranch’ did poorly among our survey respondents living in the Mid-West.”

And Netflix will face competition from Amazon and Hulu on the originals front. In late July, Amazon’s CFO said Amazon would double its investment in videos and triple the amount of original content over the rest of 2016.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

NOW WATCH: Don’t be afraid to cancel cable — here’s how to watch all of your favourite shows for less than $42 a month

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.