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According to a Statista study published in October 2021, 78% of consumers in the U.S. are subscribed to a video on demand service. Between 2015 and 2021 there was a rather astronomical increase of about 25% in the number of Americans who pick an SVOD service to access entertainment. And as revealed by Nielson data, streaming accounted for 26% of all the time spent on TV.
No wonder the variety of streaming services available in the U.S. market nowadays is estimated to be anywhere between 200 and 300. Which includes giants like Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO MAX, as well as many not as high-profile names like Pluto, Philo, Frndly TV, Vidgo, and more.
Whether you are a cord-cutter home looking to replace your Cable with a couple of on demand streaming services, or a household that needs to complement a skinny Cable bundle like the Xfinity Choice double play. Either way it is only prudent to weigh out the pros and cons of your options before you reach a decision.
Our today’s article compares 2 of the most popular SVOD services. If you have had little experience with either until now, you are at the right place. Read on, and see which of the two can work better for you given your preferences.
Netflix has become one of the most used on demand streaming platforms, since in 2007 it realized how vast the potential of video streaming technology was. Not long after the DVD-by-mail service transitioned into an SVOD platform and came to earn unprecedented popularity. By 2020 Netflix’s total revenue had grown to $25 billion from $1.67 billion a decade ago. And its worldwide subscriber base had swelled enormously. All for good reason!
On the other hand, Amazon started off its internet-based video service called Unbox in 2006 which allowed users to download TV shows and movies from major studios like Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros. And it was not until 2011 that Prime Video came to be included in the Amazon Prime subscription. In 2016 however Amazon split Prime Video from Amazon Prime and made it available as standalone SVOD service in the U.S. The service was now accessible to everyone not just Amazon Prime members. And, during the next 3 years the total number of Prime Video subscribers in the U.S. rose to over 53 million.
A study published in March 2020 revealed 56.6% industry executives from around the world voted in favor of Netflix as the most influential in the global digital video market. Whereas Prime Video could only acquire the favor of about 12%. Nonetheless each has its unique aspects that are likely to appeal to distinctive user preferences, so let’s take a look at each to help you choose better for you.
Let’s focus on each service’s pricing first. That is inevitably the biggest concern for household budgets.
As for Netflix, the streaming service ha an easy-to-understand pricing model. There are 3 categories - Basic, Standard and Premium. There is no difference in the content you are able to access with each plan. The entire ad-free Netflix catalog of shows, movies, originals and specials is available to stream. Additionally each plan allows you to download content onto your device for offline viewing. Each category however differs from the others based on the video quality offered, and the number of concurrent streams.
|Monthly service cost||$9.99||$15.49||$19.99|
|Number of concurrent streams||1||2||4|
|Number of phones and tablets you can download on||1||2||4|
|Watch on laptop, TV, phone and tablet||?||?||?|
|Unlimited access to the Netflix Catalog||?||?||?|
Amazon Prime Video’s subscription is also pretty straightforward. You have the option to go for the Amazon Prime membership - either an annual one or on a month-to-month basis. And you can also opt for Prime Video as a standalone service. With the Amazon Prime membership however you earn various shopping benefits on top of access to the complete Prime Video catalog. There is no difference in the video quality regardless of which way you opt for Prime Video. You can view all videos in the highest quality in which it is offered. The subscription allows you 3 concurrent streams, however, if you are streaming the same title, only 2 devices are allowed.
|Amazon Prime Membership||$139/yr.|
|Amazon Prime Membership||$14.99/mo.|
|Prime Video Membership||$8.99/mo.|
Given the standalone Prime Video costs a dollar less than Netflix's Basic plan, allows more than 1 concurrent stream, and also lets you to watch in HD or UHD depending on what is available, Amazon’s Prime Video seems to come out on top. But, hold your breath until you have run a comparison of other aspects.
The content on each streaming service differs significantly - both in terms of quality and quantity.
The Netflix U.S. library is estimated to have been consistent at around 6,000 titles over the past few years. It includes movies, TV shows, documentaries, mini-series, originals and specials. While with the emergence of Disney+, Netflix is destined to lose some of its popular Disney, Marvel and Star Wars titles, a shift toward original programming, fewer movies and more TV shows, was in the works anyway. And not without reason. The increased popularity of Netflix in recent years is greatly owed to its original content. Titles such as The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, and Stranger Things, have most definitely garnered an ardent fan base. No wonder, about 44% of titles in the Netflix library are now Originals, and from the looks of it very soon this ratio would hit a 50-50!
On the other hand, Prime Video beats Netflix when it comes to the size of the library. The Prime Video library offers around 24,000 movies and 2,100 TV shows to pick from. Plus its more recent acquisition of MGM brings subscribers access to popular franchises such as the James Bond as well as shows like The Handmaid’s Tale. But quantity isn’t everything. The Prime Video library may be a bigger size, and Amazon maybe increasing its investment in producing original titles such as Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jack Ryan, The Wheel of Time, and the upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series, the Prime Video library is quite a way from beating Netflix in terms of quality content.
Netflix offers a very similar interface across the range of devices it supports. The few changes you may notice are essentially geared toward making better use of the platform it is designed to work on. Perhaps the best part is the Netflix application is able to adjust the level of video compression depending on your internet speed. The app also gives you the ability to make separate profiles. Each of which is offered recommendations based on viewing history. And there is a separate profile option for kids too, which allows parents to control the content their young ones can access.
As for Prime Video, the interface varies from one device to another in terms of style and usability. Which tends to make it less user friendly, as it takes getting used to each if you use multiple devices to stream content. Perhaps the most optimal experience of the Prime Video application is only possible with Amazon Fire devices. Also, when you access the service via the web, Prime Video appears as a section inside the Amazon online store. While the search bar allows you to look for titles in the Prime Video library, it does tend to confuse the user at first. Another aspect where the Prime Video application falls short of Netflix’s is its ability to make recommendations based on your viewing preferences.
On the upside, with Prime Video you can have up to 6 user profiles, and users also love the X-Ray feature which is available with thousands of titles. It allows you to access info about the cast complete with their bios and photos, identifies the soundtrack, and also displays other interesting bits and pieces of info at specific time markers as you watch.
All in all, when it comes to the user experience, Netflix takes a clear edge over Prime Video.
Netflix does not limit your access to content based on the plan you are subscribed to. Basic, Standard or Premium, you can watch any title available in the Netflix library for your region.
On the other hand, Prime Video offers additional content in different ways. You can rent or buy a title as an add-on. For instance a new release or a classic. You can also add-on any of the select cable networks à la carte. Amazon Channels included SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax and more. This not only allows you access to live airings on these networks, but on demand.
So if you wish to customize your SVOD, Prime Video gives you ways to do that, whereas with Netflix that is not an option.
|Streaming Media Players||?||?|
|Smartphones & Tablets||?||?|
|PCs & laptops||?||?|
|Amazon Fire TV||?||?|
Well, there you are. We’ve covered almost all aspects of user concern in this article for you to be able to assess which one is a better option for you. At the end of the day your unique preferences are the true judge of which of these streaming giants is the right one for you.
If price is a concern, you like to customize your subscription with add-ons, and use an Amazon Fire device to stream content on TV, we’d say go with Prime Video with or without an Amazon Prime membership.
But, if quality of content is what you want, you don’t really care about watching live cable channels or renting or purchasing titles, and you are sensitive to the quality of user experience, don’t double guess and signup for Netflix!
One of the most important things necessary to enjoy your streaming service is a reliable high-speed internet connection. Without that neither of these streaming services will be any good.
If you wish to find a new internet option in your area, call at 1-855-349-9328, and speak to the experts. They can help you figure out the available offers at your address and also walk you through the subscription process.
Just keep in mind in order to stream in 4K or UHD you will need an internet connection that gives you at least 25 Mbps downloads. And if there are other users and devices that must connect to the network, you will have to get a higher speed in line with the overall internet usage in your household. Plus if you stream regularly, it is best that you look for an unlimited data plan offer.
One big reason why Netflix is more expensive than Prime Video is the investment the streaming giant makes in producing superb quality original content. The one area where Prime Video finds it hard to compare.
Netflix is the better option if you want access to quality original content. Amazon fares better if you are looking for an affordable option and a huge catalog combined with other benefits of Prime Membership.
No. The market for streaming services is expanding and you can find a great number of SVOD platforms out there such as Hulu, Sling, Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock, to name a few.
In terms of quality original content Netflix rules the world of streaming services. While you may not have as many titles in its library as Prime Video, the quality of content is simply superior.
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