Originally published at TV[R]EV on July 6, 2015
This weekend, I set out to binge watch Orphan Black. While I get BBC-America through my pay-TV service, I’d only recorded six of the ten episodes and so needed to go to my MVPDs VOD to watch it.
Thus began my tale of woe and dreadful customer experience.
Clicking on the “ON DEMAND” button takes me to the “Movies” tab of the first level menu, which is so long I need to scroll to see the whole thing. My options are (in order)
(Think they’re pushing ownership?) From there, I went to “By Network” since I really wasn’t sure what genre Orphan Black fell into.
There are a lot of networks. This submenu was broken up into:
But my journey was far from over.
Choosing “Orphan Black” gave me yet another submenu, with all the episodes from Seasons 2 and 3 listed as:
It’s a confusing nomenclature, one I’m guessing is lost on a lot of viewers.
Finally locating “Orphan Blk 301,” the first show of the third season, I click and am confronted with what is hopefully the final submenu:
Clicking on “Watch Now in HD” actually finally launches the show.
But say I’d accidentally clicked on the wrong episode and wanted to choose “Other Episodes” from that final submenu. Rather than take me back to the previous menu, I am taken to the “Buy To Own” sub-menu where I can buy the season for $17.99 or individual episodes for $1.99. Since the episodes are included for free with my pay-TV subscription, I’m not sure why I’d want to buy them, but getting back to the previous screen (the one with the free episodes) takes a whopping 35 clicks.
One final issue: should I need to exit out of the show for any reason, I’m brought back to the live TV screen, not even the On Demand menu and have to start all over again.
With a user experience like this, it’s no wonders viewers prefer streaming services like Netflix or their own DVRs. If the MVPDs expect to make VOD a profit center and if they expect the networks to regard them as viable alternatives to their own OTT apps, then they’ve got to step their acts up and solve the user experience dilemma.