Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix

Contents

Netflix invented the video streaming industry. The company started out as a postal DVD rental business. When broadband came along, the Netflix board realized that the internet was a much more efficient method of video delivery. Videos don’t need to be downloaded but are streamed, which means that a video player shows every frame of the video as it arrives on the device over the internet.

Amazon Prime Video evolved from Amazon’s video sales, an extension of the book selling platform, in 2006. The purchase of LoveFilm, a DVD-by-mail service, in 2011 accelerated the development of Amazon’s video rental service. Amazon still markets individual videos for rental or purchase, but the Amazon Prime Video subscription gets bulk access to a library of videos in exactly the same format as the Netflix system.

Until recently, Amazon Prime Video was only available as part of Amazon Prime, a premium membership deal for buyers on the Amazon marketplace that gets free delivery on many purchases. In 2016, Amazon made Prime Video available as a standalone subscription in the USA without the marketplace benefits.

Netflix is the leader in the video streaming video both in the USA and worldwide. In both markets, Amazon Prime Video has the number two slot both in the USA and internationally.

Compare Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix plans

Both Amazon Prime and Netflix offer access to a library of videos and all members get access to the same library for each service. Amazon only has two plans and Netflix has three.

  Amazon Prime Amazon Prime Video Netflix Basic Netflix Standard Netflix Premium
Monthly price $12.99 $8.99 $8.99 $12.99 $15.99
Free trial 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
Number of videos 10,000 + 10,000 + 5,000 + 5,000 + 5,000 +
Streaming quality HD or 4K HD or 4K SD HD 4K
Original content Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Addons available Yes Yes No No No
Simultaneous streams 3 3 1 2 4

Compare Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix content

Video library

Amazon Prime Video has a much larger video library than Netflix. In addition to this library of videos that are included with the membership plan, Amazon Prime Video members can rent or buy videos to stream.

Original programming

Both video streaming services produce their own content. Amazon Prime Video has been producing original content since 2013. The streaming service developed a marketing strategy around made it a strategy to invest in big budget series and movies that would win awards. This plan was successful and in 2015, the series Transparent won a Golden Globe award. Award nominated and winning Amazon Original series include Jack Ryan, Good Omens, The Expanse, The Man in the High Castle, and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Amazon Studios has won Oscars for Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman.

Netflix has a larger production budget than Amazon Prime Video. Netflix and Marvel produced Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and The Defenders. Other notable Netflix Originals are Stranger Things, Bloodline, Narcos, Grace and Frankie, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Netflix won its first Prime Time Emmy Award in 2013. It’s more recent award-winning original content includes Making a Murderer, The Crown, and the movies Roma, The Irishman, and Marriage Story.

Sports programming

Netflix has almost no sports content, while Amazon is actively pursuing the rights to live sporting events around the world to boost its subscriber figures. In the USA, Amazon Prime Video streams the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games live. Amazon Prime Video also stream Eurosport and the Tennis TV channel.

Compare Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix streaming devices

  Amazon Prime Video Netflix
Web browser Yes Yes
Google Chromecast Yes Yes
iOS mobile app Yes Yes
Android mobile app Yes Yes
Roku Yes Yes
Apple TV Yes Yes
Android TV box Yes Yes
Amazon Fire TV Yes Yes
Samsung smart TV Yes Yes
LG smart TV Yes Yes
Vizio smart TV Yes Yes
Xbox Yes Yes
PlayStation Yes Yes
Nintendo No Yes

Compare Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix user experience

Home screen

Both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix organize the library into categories. Both also tailor the presentation of videos to each member according to viewing history. Available videos are shown as stills. In the Netflix interface, clicking on a title expands out a details screen, which plays an excerpt of the selected video. Both promote the week’s top ten videos and the latest Originals output.

The home screens of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are almost identical.

Details screen

Clicking on a title in either system takes the user to a details screen, which will prepare to run the video on a further play command. The details screen includes the plot of a series, movie, or episode, and the primary cast list. It is also possible to see a list of episodes of a series in both systems. Amazon Prime has an X-Ray screen, which gives more detailed information on cast members and includes trivia about the selected show. Netflix includes an optional list of similar videos.

The Amazon X-Ray system can be accessed at any point in a video and it will show a detailed list of every member of the cast on screen at that point. It also has scene by scene trivia.

The X-Ray information of Amazon Prime Video makes its details screens better than those of Netflix.

International Access

Netflix is available in every country in the world except for China, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea. Amazon Prime Video operates everywhere except for China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

In both cases, subscribers can still watch the video service when they travel abroad. Screens and video adaptation are always in the home language of the account. The content of the library relates to the country of the point of access.

Both systems are equally good for international access.

Addons

Amazon Prime Video offers addon channel packages, similar to the system used by cable TV services. Premium channels are HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz. Netflix doesn’t offer add-on channels.

Amazon Prime beats Netflix in terms of add-on channels.

Downloads

Both systems allow users to download videos to watch offline. A download is accessible for 48 hours after the moment it is first played and will be accessible for first play for 30 days in both cases. Amazon allows 15 to 25 videos to be downloaded and accessible at a time and Netflix allows 100 videos to be downloaded and live per device.

The download allowance of Netflix is better.


 

Amazon Prime Video pros

  • Good for sports
  • Wide range of compatible streaming devices
  • Accessible while traveling
  • Downloadable content
  • Allowance of three simultaneous streams

Amazon Prime Video cons

  • Still linked to the shopping platform membership in most countries

See full Amazon Prime Video review here.


 

Netflix pros

  • Low price entry-level plan
  • SD quality is good for customers with poor internet service
  • Excellent content suggestion algorithm

Netflix cons

  • Simultaneous screening allowance is expensive compared to Amazon

See full Netflix review here.