When was the last time you rented a DVD? Well, scratch that. Can you remember the last time you saw a video rental store in your area? My educated guess is that it’s been a couple of years. The main reason as to why these entertainment options have quickly become obsolete can be attributed to the introduction of premium online video streaming services from the likes of Netflix and Amazon. So which of these services is better and more suited to your viewing and entertainment needs? Let’s take a look.
Netflix vs. Amazon Prime
According to BGR, a leading mobile and technology news source, Netflix, as a global provider of streaming TV and movies, is driven to dominate within the video streaming industry, with an estimated expenditure of $5 billion on content alone. This colossal figure, at the very least, includes licensing costs, traditional TV and a whole new selection of original content in order to serve there over 75 million subscribers. Netflix has a reputation of spending big money on content, keeping in mind that $2 billion was spent in 2013 alone, as reported by BGR. With this big spending, comes great original content including popular TV series programs such as Narcos and House Of Cards. To top it off, in 2016, Netflix is expected to release more series to their subscribers compared to other powerhouses such as FX/FXX and HBO. In addition, Netflix has stated their goal of offering their services in every country in the world, a mission they are pursuing aggressively.
However, Netflix is not alone in this game; there are a number of rival streaming services which are giving them a run for their money. These rival services include the likes of Hulu and Amazon Prime. Amazon and Netflix have been the major players in the video streaming sector and they are always engaged in price wars and value-adding of their existing services. For instance, Amazon Prime made headlines when they “poached” top presenters of the top-tier motoring show, Top Gear, aired by BBC, to star on their own motoring show.
Although Netflix and Amazon Prime are top-of the range streaming services, they have distinct differences. Here we will explore these differences and maybe help you in making an informed decision.
Streaming services have tons of benefits compared to DVDs. For starters, you don’t have to visit a rental store in order to rent a movie. You only have to subscribe to a streaming service and voila, you can enjoy watching your favorite content in the comfort of your home, provided you have access to a stable internet connection and a supported device. So, which devices are supported by these two streaming giants?
The supported devices with Netflix include Macs and PCs, using a web browser, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360,Wii U, a wide range of Smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, Amazon Fire, Apple TV,WD TV, Roku, Chromecast (IOS, Windows and Android phone devices) and a wide array of third-party devices. In comparison, the supported devices of Amazon Prime include, Macs and PCs, using a web browser, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360,Wii U, a number of Smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, Amazon Fire, Apple TV,WD TV, Roku, Chromecast (IOS, Windows and Android phone devices) and a wide array of third-party devices.
As you can clearly see from the above comparison, both services are available on a vast selection of devices yet the main difference is the fact that Netflix supports more Smart TVs, phone devices and media players- and as a result, we will have to give Netflix the win in this round.
Pricing is a very important aspect to consider when choosing between the Netflix and Amazon Prime services. Basically, Netflix offers a number of cost tiers while Amazon Prime only has one standard pricing structure.
Netflix currently offers three pricing plans including, Basic, Standard and Premium. The Basic plan is currently available at $7.99 per month, Standard at $9.99 monthly and finally, Premium at $11.99 per month. With all three available plans, subscribers are given access to the same devices and content. Although the Basic plan may look appealing at first glance, one of the huge downsides of this plan is that you only get videos in standard definition; that is, you do not get access to High Definition (HD) video, which is a deal-breaker for most people. Another drawback of the Basic plan is the fact that you can only stream on one screen at any given time. The Standard plan allows you to stream to a maximum of two screens at the same time and it also gives you access to HD content. Finally, with the Premium plan, you can stream to up to 4 screens at the same time and the content is available in Ultra HD format.
If you compute the above numbers per year, you will have to part with $95.88, $119.88 and $143.88 per year for the Basic, Standard and Premium plans respectively.
Let’s now take a closer look at Amazon Prime. When it comes to pricing, Amazon is simple and straight forward. The annual cost of their services is $99 for Amazon Prime which also includes free 2-day shipping, access to Prime Video as well as the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. Unlike with Netflix, Amazon Prime subscribers are able to access videos of high quality since they come in 1080p. However, this video quality depends on the resolution that the videos were originally shot at, taking into account that most of the earlier videos were recorded in standard definition. When you do the calculations and based on their simple pricing and their shipping offer, Amazon Prime undoubtedly wins this round.
Of course quality of the content offered should reign supreme when comparing these two rival streaming services because they vary widely. However, both services offer a wide array of popular TV series.
Some of the trademark Netflix offerings include household names such as Marvel’s Daredevil, House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black. Despite this top names, and the wide choice, there is definitely more room for Netflix to improve on the quality of available videos.
On the other hand, Amazon Prime offers shallow original content and their shows are yet to get worldwide recognition. However, Amazon makes up for lack of original content in a wide range of third-party television shows and Hollywood blockbusters. Amazon Prime has tons of offerings, some of which have already made a name for themselves. Some of the most popular offerings include the phenomenal animated sensation Despicable Me, as well as Pacific Rim, Arrow, and Mad Men among others.
Although it’s a close call, and really depends on your viewing preferences, Netflix wins this round for their commitment to providing top quality original content such as the series Grace and Frankie staring Jane Fonda and Martin Sheen.
If you only have access to a metered bandwidth, you have to consider the offline viewing factor in order to save and to cut internet costs. Amazon beats Netflix hands down in this area and this is mainly because Amazon currently offers tons of TV shows and movies which you can download and watch at your leisure and convenience. This means that you can watch your favorite shows without being connected to the internet and this offline viewing is readily available to all members.
Since Netflix does not offer this feature, Amazon wins this round hands down.
Both Netflix and Amazon are traded on the major stock exchanges and they are also available on most online trading platforms, either as individual financial securities or in their respective stock indices. You can therefore trade your favorite video streaming service using an online trading platform or mobile trading app, especially if you trade them as binary options. Trading Netflix and Amazon as binary options only involves predicting if their market price will rise or fall in the preselected trading duration and if your prediction is correct, you could earn up to 90% returns on your investment amount. As simple as that!
There are millions of subscribers who are loyal only to Netflix thanks to the wide variety of their original series. However, Amazon Prime has made tremendous improvements over the years and is slowly gaining ground by increasing their market share. When it comes to selecting the best options between the two, it really all boils down to pricing as well as the available content on offer.