We’re living in the golden age of media streaming, with increasingly few people even bothering with physical media like DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs (Best Buy is even phasing CDs out altogether). But with so many streaming sites to choose from, each with its own fees, it’s hard to choose which ones are worth it.
Two clear front-runners in the streaming wars are Netflix and Amazon. While Netflix was clearly headed towards total market domination for a few years, Amazon has been catching up fast. With Amazon Prime Video, subscribers have access to a huge video library.
But which is better? We’ve decided to dive in and give you the details you need to make your choice. It’s Amazon Prime vs Netflix. Two sites enter, one site leaves. Or, well, gets your money.
Let’s dive in!
Amazon Prime vs Netflix: Quantity and quality
When choosing a streaming site, two obvious priorities emerge: quantity and quality. How many titles are available on either site, and how good are they?
Amazon Prime and Netflix both have pretty huge libraries. And they both offer films as well as TV shows.
On the quantity side, Amazon wins by a fair margin.
While titles are added and taken down daily, the American Netflix library has over 5,500 titles across both movies and TV, which isn’t bad.
Amazon Prime’s library, on the other hand, is estimated closer to 20,000. That’s a huge difference in favor of Prime.
But does that mean Prime has better titles? Not necessarily.
You’ll have to judge for yourself, but Prime does have some great titles to choose from. Comedies like Logan Lucky, What We Do in the Shadows, The Big Sick, and Swiss Army Man are great additions to the library. Not to mention classic titles like Dr. No, His Girl Friday, Escape from New York, and Carrie.
Netlfix certainly give Prime a run for its money though, with action movies like Kill Bill, Captain America: Civil War, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Or comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Wet Hot American Summer, and Frances Ha.
On this front, the best streaming site is obviously the one with the titles you’re looking for.
Amazon Prime vs Netflix: Original programming
Both sites also produce their own content, and here, we have to give Netflix the upper hand.
Prime absolutely has great original titles, with series like Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, Sneaky Pete, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the upcoming Jack Ryan and Lord of the Rings series. And they’ve gotten some Oscar nods for films like Manchester By the Sea and The Big Sick.
But still, ever since its first original scripted drama, House of Cards, Netflix has truly been the king of the castle with its original series and films.
Sure, there have been some duds, like Bright and Mute, but we’ve gotten some truly first class original titles from Netflix that put the competition to shame. Shows like Stranger Things, Dark, Lost in Space, BoJack Horseman, The Crown, GLOW, and Marvel series like Daredevil and Jessica Jones are clear standouts.
Then on the film side, Netflix offers some gems like Mudbound, Okja, The Meyerowitz Stories, and A Futile and Stupid Gesture.
Again though, there’s no debating taste, so you’ll have to choose for yourself who has the original content you crave.
Amazon Prime vs Netflix: Prices
This is where things start to get messy. There’s no clear A vs B in the price department, as both Amazon Prime and Netflix leave a bit of room for you to choose what’s best for you.
First, let’s compare free trial periods.
Both Amazon and Netflix offer your first month free (or first 30 days in the case of Amazon Prime). But Amazon does go a step further by giving students a full six months of free prime service as an added incentive.
When it comes to actual pricing, let’s look at the details.
Netflix offers different plans that allow you to access different levels of image quality and split your service across multiple screens. Check out our full pricing breakdown here. In short, a basic, one-screen account will cost you $7.99, while at the other end of the spectrum, you can can stream on up to four screens in HD or Ultra HD for $13.99 per month.
On the Amazon side, you have two options. A flat yearly fee of $119, recently raised from $99, is the cheapest option. You can, however, pay a monthly fee of $12.99, to give yourself flexibility to opt out and avoid large payments. The yearly payments work out to less than $10 per month, though, so you’re saving a lot by going that route.
One noteworthy difference with Prime is that there are no membership tiers. One membership gets you up to two simultaneous screens and allows you to stream in either SD or HD.
Depending on how you stream, that could be better or worse than Netflix.
Amazon Prime vs Netflix: Extra perks
This is, first and foremost, a comparison of streaming services, but neither Amazon Prime Video or Netflix is just a streaming site.
The clear winner in the perks division is Amazon Prime Video, which is part of the Amazon Prime service centred around online shopping. With a Prime subscription, you not only have access to the full Prime Video library, but you also get free one or two-day shipping on most items sold by Amazon.com. You also get access to Amazon Prime Music and other online services.
Suddenly that subscription cost seems a little more worthwhile.
Netflix, on the other hand, has little to offer outside the streaming sphere, with one small exception: DVD rentals. I hesitate to call this a perk, since it’s an additional service, paid for separately from streaming, but you can rent DVDs and Blu-rays, shipped through the mail, from Netflix.
In the Amazon Prime vs Netflix battle there is no clear winner
If you came here looking for a clear winner, you came to the wrong place.
Both streaming services have their advantages and drawbacks, and if you don’t want to sign up for both, you will be giving something up. If you’re a hardcore Marvel fan, you’ll want Netflix’s exclusive access to Marvel shows.
If you constantly order stuff from Amazon, streaming might already just be a perk on top of your Prime membership for parcels.
No two viewers are the same, but hopefully we’ve given you the info you need to make the right choice for you.
Have you picked a side in the Amazon Prime vs Netflix showdown? Which is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments!