When it comes to iTunes and video streaming, the Apple service is often overlooked by iDevice owners because it is always there – no app is downloaded, no service subscribed. It is that ubiquity that appears to have garnered iTunes high customer service satisfaction when it comes to streaming video.

However, right on its heels are traditional streaming video operators, such as HBO Go and Netflix. But are we comparing apples to oranges, since iTunes doesn’t stream content in real-time on computers, giving consumers the false impression of superiority…

The survey of consumers by ForeSee found that its panel rated iTunes 80, while HBO Go and Netflix both rated 79. That slight lead was enough to get the Apple press foaming at the mouth. Little noted in reviews is that consumers rated iTunes highly because of its lack of glitches during the streaming.

Here is how a press release frames the issue:

Users want fast page loads and are dissatisfied when error messages or playback issues occur. iTunes’ position on top makes sense, given that it bypasses these performance issues. The study finds that performance is the main driver of satisfaction for streaming websites and apps.

Apple bypasses the issue of page speed and streaming errors by requiring you to first download the movie or TV episode from their server to your computer.

Then the complete video is displayed (unless accessed from your Apple TV).

By contrast, Netflix and others take the riskier path directly streaming the video directly from their server. Apple’s method counts on you overlooking the download time in exchange for nearly flawless playback. True streaming services want your movie to begin seconds after hitting the “Play” button despite the possibility a playback glitch might happen.

Despite the two vastly different “streaming” models, headlines blare that Apple’s iTunes beats the stuffing out of giants like Netflix.

While I’m as happy to declare the superiority of Apple as anyone, I think we need to be straight with our readers. Saying Apple’s iTunes handily wins in the streaming category bends the truth to the point of a pretzel-like shape.

At some point, there needs to be a balance between simple click-bait and the facts.

  • Gorgonphone


  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    “Saying Apple’s iTunes handily wins in the streaming category bends the truth to the point of a pretzel-like shape.”

    This last statement says it all really. While I’m as satisfied with iTunes as most other people are at the end of the day it is not really a streaming service is it? Granted iTunes Match is part of iTunes but since we’re talking about video streaming that’s irrelevant. Even with iOS 7 which allows for the streaming of purchased films and TV Shows let’s not forget that iTunes is still littered with DRM which is quite frankly ridiculous considering you as a user have gone out of your way to purchase a particular thing.

    • Rowan09

      I agree iTunes is not a streaming service. We do not own something we buy that’s copy written by someone else whether its software or music. I can’t purchase a copy of Microsft word and do as I wish to it and sell it as my own, or neither can I download music and distribute it to other freely.

  • abdullah575

    happy eid !!!

  • Pitchy

    This is a ridiculous survey. Honestly, how many people here filled out this survey? How many people in general completed the survey. Of those people, how many truly know what exactly streaming is. It seems like some people are like oh, look iTunes, I use that and it’s great so +1 for that one.

    • Rowan09

      After thinking about it iTunes is a streaming service, it’s not like Netflix where you pay a monthly service or like Crackle but everything purchased is electronic hence making it a streaming service. I personally wouldn’t include it in this surgery because its a service where in majority you pay for each item you want to stream. They do have an option to rent so that’s what I assume makes it a streaming service.

  • Kevin Osborne

    Hulu at the bottom? No surprise there. I have so many streaming issues with them and they always blame my WiFi, PS-3, or anything else other than themselves, apparently making it nearly impossible to stream just a 1080p (or even less) video stream from Hulu, while 1080p AND 5.1 Dolby Digital stream just fine from Netflix without all the hiccups. Hulu Plus is a joke.