Netflix vs Amazon Prime - which of the streaming giants is better for you?
Netflix vs Amazon Prime is a very modern battle. But for price, content and quality, which one is better?
Netflix vs Amazon Prime? This is the question more audiences are asking. It can be tough choosing between these two streaming services, whether you’re cutting back on existing subscriptions or looking for a new one to start. Netflix is the original king of streaming, but Amazon Prime comes with some great bonus perks.
Netflix and Amazon Prime are two of the biggest streaming platforms around today. Both offer great original content in addition to a library of third-party movies and series. These platforms also have to compete with Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, AppleTV and a growing roster of streaming services that are getting expensive for audiences.
Choosing whether to go with Netflix or Amazon Prime is easier once you know what you’re looking for. Price and value are deciding factors for some users. Others want a streaming service that consistently delivers high-concept, award-worthy content. The overall quality of each platform is important, too. A streaming service’s ease of use can make or break the audience’s experience.
Here’s how Netflix and Amazon Prime stack up in each of these key categories.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime - let the battle commence
For most users, the ideal Netflix subscription tier is “standard,” which costs $15.49 per month and allows up to two screens to be used simultaneously. For a dollar less, you can get a full Amazon Prime membership, which includes two-day Prime shipping on Amazon orders, access to Prime Gaming rewards, access to Prime Reading and Prime Music, Amazon Photos, Amazon Drive and discounts in Whole Foods grocery stores.
Amazon Prime is the obvious choice in terms of sheer value for your money. A standard Netflix subscription only includes its streaming library. A standalone Prime Video subscription still costs less than Netflix’s basic tier for those who are only interested in Amazon's streaming content.
Prime Video is $8.99 per month, with streaming for up to three devices simultaneously. In comparison, Netflix’s basic subscription is $9.99 per month and limits you to only one device at a time. However, both platforms support streaming from your phone to your TV using a stick or similar device.
Amazon Prime is probably the best choice for families or users simply looking to get the most out of their subscription price. This is especially true if you enjoy video games since Amazon's Prime Gaming service offers Twitch perks, free in-game rewards and even free games, including titles from major studios. Prime shipping is extremely convenient, as well, along with the thousands of Kindle ebooks included in the Prime Reading library. Of course, the specific film and TV content each service offers has a big impact on return on investment.
The content competition is tough when it comes to Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video. In terms of the sheer number of unique titles, Prime Video beats out Netflix, which may come as a surprise. The Prime Video Library is huge, containing over 24,000 films and 2,100 TV series. In comparison, Netflix has around 15,000 unique titles, although this number shifts as third-party titles come and go from the platform.
However, Netflix still has the edge in content over Amazon Prime. What Prime Video has in quantity, Netflix has in quality. Netflix has produced significantly more original content than Prime Video. While both contain good original content, Netflix delivers more new shows and movies at consistently higher quality year after year. As of 2022, Netflix has over 2,000 original titles, which have garnered 15 Academy Awards and hundreds of nominations.
Even without awards, the popularity of some of Netflix’s content speaks for itself. “Stranger Things” is one of the most successful streaming series of all time and one of Netflix’s first big originals. The second season of “Stranger Things” alone pulled in over 400 million hours in watch time in the first month it was released. The drama series “13 Reasons Why” has racked up well over double that number across its two seasons.
Other titles, like “Bridgerton,” “Squid Games” and “Arcane” have dominated media headlines and trending pages over the last year while also setting new artistic standards in film and TV.
The decision between Netflix or Prime Video is even more clear when considering each platform’s subscriber count. Prime Video is in the top 10, but it still comes in second place to Netflix, which has over 213 million subscribers compared to Prime’s 175 million. Millions of people prefer Netflix’s content over Prime Video’s despite the higher prices.
3. Experience Quality
The quality of the user experience on Netflix vs Amazon Prime depends on personal preference. This relates to the platforms’ apps and websites as well as the specific content on them. For example, some viewers might prefer “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” over any content on Netflix. Likewise, some viewers may never want to cancel their Netflix subscription as long as a new season of “Stranger Things” is on the way.
It is also important to note that while Prime Video contains more titles, many are older films and shows. An important part of choosing between Netflix or Amazon Prime is researching what content you would like best.
The two streaming services have slightly different user interfaces, as well. While some may prefer Prime Video’s layout, Netflix’s website and apps are more streamlined. Since you can buy and rent videos and shows on Prime Video in addition to those that are included in your subscription, the service’s interface is more crowded and confusing than Netflix’s.
The viewing experience is better on Netflix since it supports 4K Ultra HD on all its content with a premium subscription, while Prime Video only supports HD. Netflix will deliver a more cinematic experience for those who want to stream from an 85 inch TV setup.
Netflix may also be a higher-quality service for families since it contains more top-notch children’s shows and movies, as well as unique interactive shows. Netflix’s dedicated children’s site includes shows and movies from some of the most popular family franchises around. Kids get access to content from “Oconauts,” “Sofia the First,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Pokemon,” “LEGO,” “The Magic School Bus,” “Jurassic Park,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Lost in Space,” “iCarly,” “Despicable Me,” “CoComelon” and thousands more kid-friendly movies and shows.
- See our guide to the best TV brands to buy now
Should You Subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime?
The Netflix vs Amazon Prime debate largely comes down to personal preference. However, for those who are new to streaming or could go either way, Netflix is more likely to offer an enjoyable experience. While it has less content than Prime Video, Netflix contains higher-quality shows and movies, especially for families and 4K streaming fans.
With thousands of original titles, Netflix is also the best streaming service for those who want new content regularly in various genres. Streaming is all about finding the library that gives you the best entertainment, though, so make sure to research both of these services to find the one with content that is best tailored to you.
Shannon L. Flynn is a Philadelphia-native technology freelancer with experience writing about consumer IoT, entertainment and cybersecurity. You can see her bylines on Lifewire, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf and ReHack. When she's not writing, you can find her playing video games, watching her favorite Twitch streamers, and lounging with a good book (most likely a Mac).
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