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Last updated on Oct 28, 2020

Amazon Prime Video vs. Netflix

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Amazon Prime Video vs. Netflix

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have the two largest selections of original streaming content, and both have large collections of movies and shows. That combination of features makes them two of the best options for streaming services — but which one is best for you?

Netflix remains the most popular streaming provider, with more than 140 million monthly subscribers. It’s best for viewers interested in a large library of original content. Amazon Prime Video comes in a distant second with 26 million subscribers, but is a great fit for people who want the largest overall selection of titles to choose from, regardless of quality.

Amazon Prime Video vs. Netflix Overview

Netflix has more than 5,000 titles, a robust selection of original programming, and three pricing tiers.

Amazon Prime Video has the largest selection of titles, a smaller selection of award-winning originals, and a single pricing tier for everyone.

Amazon Prime VideoNetflix
Monthly price$8.99/mo.-$12.99/mo.$8.99/mo.-$15.99/mo.
Number of account usersUp to 2Up to 4
Number of titles17,000+5,000+
Number of original series50+700+
Offline viewing availableYesYes
Streaming speed6-8 Mbps3-25 Mbps

Quantity of streaming content

Amazon Prime Video and Netflix both have extensive libraries featuring thousands of hours of content. However, Amazon Prime Video has a much larger selection of films than Netflix. It has 18,000-plus movies, which makes its library four times the size of its rival’s. However, while you can find some bigger hits among that library, many of those options are straight-to-DVD or B-movies. Netflix doesn’t have as many films available — its movie collection totals around 4,500 — but we found the quality of these choices tends to be higher than Amazon’s.

Netflix also has a dizzying release schedule of originals, movies, and shows. There are thousands of hours of Netflix original episodes and films available to stream. If you’re choosing your streaming provider based on sheer quantity, then Amazon Prime Video has the win. If you add quality to the equation, Netflix starts to look more appealing.

Original programming available

Amazon Prime Video and Netflix regularly add and remove third-party movies and series to those lineups. As a result, it’s also important to consider original content when comparing the two.

Netflix shines when it comes to TV series and movies that the service develops and funds. In 2019, it spent more than $15 billion to bring viewers popular selections such as “Stranger Things,” “Black Mirror,” and “BoJack Horseman.” The service released more than 70 original TV series and films over the course of 2019. It also had more Academy Award nominations than any other studio in 2020, proving that there’s some quality behind that selection.

Amazon Prime Video’s content library is much larger, but its selection of original content is smaller than Netflix’s. However, many Amazon original TV series have garnered critical acclaim. It’s the only place you can watch Emmy-winning series like “Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “The Man in the High Castle” as well as other popular titles like “Jack Ryan.”

User interface

The Amazon Prime Video interface can be a little confusing to use. The layout differs depending on how you’re accessing the service and is less intuitive than Netflix’s. Those streaming on a Fire TV device will have the best user experience.

Amazon Prime Video’s streaming interface sits within the service’s storefront — it doesn’t have a dedicated application. This makes searching for movies difficult, as the search function looks through Amazon’s entire website instead of limiting itself to the service’s video offerings.

The Netflix user interface is consistent across the board, whether you’re using a desktop computer, the mobile app, or a smart TV. And the ability to create up to four user accounts can be helpful for families: Each member of your household can get custom recommendations based on their age and interests. The home screen focuses on original content, but you’ll also get recommendations based on the genres and titles you’ve watched.

Value for price

Netflix offers a plan for every budget, while Amazon Prime Video has a standard across-the-board rate.

The cheapest Netflix plan is $8.99 per month and lets you stream in 480p on a single screen. For most users, that will be pretty underwhelming. The standard plan is $12.99 per month, upgrading your viewing quality to 1080p, and allowing you to stream on two screens. The premium level plan is $15.99 per month and offers 4K Ultra HD streaming on up to four simultaneous streams.

Amazon Prime Video is a bundled add-on for Amazon Prime members. A Prime membership costs $12.99 per month or $120 for the entire year if you pay upfront. You’ll also find premium add-ons like Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, and more. While you’ll have to pay for these channels, they’ll give you access to even more original programming.

Amazon Prime Video offers very high video quality. Most of its newer titles stream in 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos audio. However, older titles don’t have this same level of audio and video quality.

Netflix offers incredible audio and video quality. There’s a unique feature that’ll adjust the video compression to match your internet speeds, so you’ll get a steady streaming experience even with a slow connection. Like Amazon Prime Video, 5.1 Dolby surround is available for supported shows, along with Dolby Atmos for those whose audio setups can support it.

The Bottom Line

Both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix provide users with more content than they could ever hope to watch, including movies, series, and unique original content.

Amazon Prime Video delivers a larger selection of titles, but a good proportion of these selections don’t match the quality that of Netflix’s offerings. Both services offer a variety of original shows and movies unique to each platform.

Users who want to get the most out of their streaming budget should go with Amazon Prime Video, especially if they already subscribe to Prime. Netflix is a better fit for users who want to watch Netflix’s larger library of originals.