Do you remember Blockbuster? Envision it. You drive 5-10 min to the local branch. You then spend 15-20 min just sifting through their selection. Pick out 2-3 movies and go wait in line next with a bunch of other people doing the same thing. Get to the checkout “Oh good choice, that’s going to be $9.27 also you have a late charge on your account of $5.25. These movies will be do back in 3 days.” drive 5-10 min home and watch your movies. You’ve just spent about an hour of your time and $15 only to go do it again in a few days. LOL. A lot has changed since then.
I started by using the mailing service offered through Blockbuster and thought it was great. Until one day a few years ago I found Netflix. It was awesome! A few bucks a month for streaming videos and a mailing service under the same membership! Needless to say I got a lot of movie watching done over the next few months. And as time has gone on and technology has improved Netflix streaming service has kept improving consistently. The Netflix membership was eventually split so that you had to pay $7.99/mo for streaming and $7.99/mo for the mailing service. The Netflix Membership is still $7.99/mo for all the streaming movies. They have consistently added more and more content over the years, and they even have their own original series they are making now. House of Cards if you haven’t seen it is amazing Kevin Spacey is a character you love to hate, but that’s another story altogether… Point is the content is great.
I have been an Amazon member for years. Its simply the best website around for shopping, gifts, and selling items online. Now I have to say that comparison to Netflix aside; the Amazon Prime Membership is well worth the $. Its $79/mo, and its benefits are laudable. First, free 2-day shipping on all Prime eligible items. You may think well there can’t be that many Amazon Prime eligible items then. Wrong! Almost every product has a Prime eligible option. Sometimes you can get the items cheaper from different sellers, but you usually the 2-day shipping with Prime will tilt the scales back to Amazon (Just another way they undercut people selling on their website). Now if you’re thinking that 2-day FREE shipping is not that great… It is. What’s the most you have paid for shipping when shopping online? $4? $20? $75? It happens, and whether you buy one big item or a few items using the free shipping option with Amazon Prime… It pays for itself!! Second, with a membership there will be deals you get anywhere from 5-70% off random items. The amount you can save after you have paid for the membership with just the free shipping is just icing on the cake. One more awesome point for the Amazon Prime (and to get back to what this all about) is the streaming videos. Do you have to pay extra for this on top of the $79/mo? Nope. It comes along with the membership. Final conclusion… Prime is worth it whether you compare it to Netflix or not.
Amazon Instant Video Vs Netflix
Now for the straight comparison of these two great services. Which is better Netflix or Amazon Instant Video? First we’re going to take a look at the accessibility/user experience of the two.
You can access Netflix Instant Video on pretty much any platform. Not only that, but you can access them from up to 4 separate sources at once. At one point my roommate had a membership that was used by him, me, and 2 more friends at the same time for months. Its accessibility is great. As to user experience… When it comes to the experience Netflix is overall the best its the easiest to use. My kids with little experience in using Xbox or the computer were able to figure it out after a couple tries, and if a kid can use it… well you should be able to as well. If you can’t its not Netflix’s fault you have other problems. The Netflix App for the iPhone is easy to use and navigate. You lose little of the experience that you get from using a browser, and for Xbox, PlayStation, and other similar platforms its is even smoother.
Amazon Instant Video, on the other hand, when it comes to other platforms leaves me wanting, and has no-where near the accessibility that Netflix offers. WTF Amazon? Fix this. Now in they’re “defense” Amazon is about shopping so the user experience of Amazon Instant Video is set up to sell/rent movies to you at the same time. Just differing goals their Netflix wants you to enjoy the movies and the experience; while Amazon wants you to consume (and of course they make that very easy).
Instant Video Selection
Now on to content. Netflix has lots of content. A ton of movies and shows that are easy to navigate, and they constantly add to it. They are currently talking to Comcast about offering Netflix streaming right through the cable service.
Amazon is buying up lots of new material, signing contracts with many providers, and snatching up anything Netflix drops (with the $8 billion of cash on hand) vs the $290 million that Netflix has) they may be able to win out in the end… we will see. Right now both Amazon and Netflix have a plethora of movies; only the future will tell who will have more.
Amazon Prime Cost Vs Netflix Cost
Simple math $7.99/mo for Netflix Instant Video comes out to $95.88/yr. They do offer a 30 day free trial that once you try you will probably continue since they do offer the month to month option no contract of course. (Why not it’s only $7.99/mo you pay 3-4 times that a week on coffee if you’re the average American). Amazon Prime is $79/yr they don’t offer monthly payments. So while it’s cheaper (and pays itself back with the other benefits an Amazon Prime Membership comes with) you do have to pay it all upfront. They do offer many membership deals and bonuses throughout the year ($20 off your next Amazon purchase on top of any Prime savings you already get is usually enough to sweeten the deal so keep you eyes open for that or a membership discount they run 1-2 times a year). So when it comes to price Amazon Prime membership crushes Netflix membership.
I use Netflix over the Amazon Instant Video every night of the week. Its not hard to believe of course given that at least 1/4 of Amazon Prime Members (according to some sources) don’t use or even know of the video library available to them. I have had ample time to explore both, and simply don’t like having to sort through all the videos on Amazon to figure out which are free, and which can be rented/purchased for a cost. Then it comes to quality as well pretty much everything on Netflix can be streamed in HD as long as you have the right connection speed (make sure you’re not using all your bandwidth on other things). While Amazon Prime may offer the SD version free, and then offer the HD version rental for a little more $. Netflix is the clear choice if you are looking for the best video streaming service… But of course I do like to plug Amazon Prime as I said earlier the Instant Video is only one of it benefits.