Should you have Netflix and Amazon Prime Video?

Papa KyKy By Papa KyKy, 31st Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Web Sites

It is not really fair to compare it to Netflix, as Netflix has an overall superiority of library, exclusive content, and complete ubiquity (is there a video streaming device left that doesn’t have Netflix?). The real question to ask is “is it worth it to have both of them?” My answer is yes, and below I will explain why.

Exclusive content:

As great as Netflix is, it can’t own all of the content, or it would be prohibitively expensive. The number one reason to have Amazon Prime is that it does have a decent amount of content that is not available on Netflix. The exclusive content is a mixture of Amazon Original content, recently discarded Netflix content, and Amazon exclusive contracting. Below are some of the notable exclusives:

Nickelodeon

If you have kids, this one is a no brainer. While Netflix has the Disney content online exclusively (well after the contract with Starz is up this year anyway), Amazon has Nickelodeon content. This is important, because unlike adults, most kids don’t mind watching older shows as much. They also don’t mind watching shows they may have already seen once. So shows like Spongebob Square-pants, Dora the Explorer, Backyardigans, and many others are ready for some kid binge watching.

The HBO collection

The HBO collection: If you have HBO, then this will not mean anything to you, since all of the content here is also on HBO Go. However; for those without HBO, Amazon Prime video has access to many HBO shows that are over 3 years old. Most notably is the entire series of the Sopranos. Other seasons are in the process of moving over completely. For example, Amazon Prime has the first 5 seasons of True Blood (which is up to 2012, 3 years ago). It also has the first season of Veep. Of course, this has limitations, in that HBO is not giving up the entire farm. Game of Thrones is nowhere to be seen here yet. Nonetheless, it is a great range of exclusive shows to have, if you do not currently have HBO.

Amazon Originals

Let me get this out of the way first. In my opinion, Netflix currently has vastly superior original content compared to Amazon Prime. Having said that, Amazon is slowly improving in this area. Most notable is the show Transparent, which has been recently nominated for 11 Emmys. Other Amazon Original series that have been green-lit include: Alpha House, Mozart in the Jungle, Bosch, Catastrophe, and most recently, Hand of God. Some shows have been announced to arrive at some point, such as The Man in the High Castle. The problem here is that some shows never get past the pilot episode stage. Still, there is much potential here. Amazon also has some original content for children available.

Exclusive contracts

There are some notable individual shows here that cannot be seen on Netflix, which include: Downton Abbey, The Good Wife, Under the Dome, Suits, Defiance, and several others. Of course, there are also the movies and shows that Netflix stops carrying, and Amazon picks up.

Saves your spot in playback

In my experience with Netflix, it does not bookmark where you left off in watching a movie or show. It is very easy to fast forward to your spot, but slightly tedious. Amazon Prime Video automatically bookmarks your spot, so you can watch on one device, and pick up exactly where you left off on another. This feature works most of the time, but occasionally the bookmark does not work.

The option to purchase or rent a movie or show

It is nice to be able to have options to rent or purchase a movie or show if it is not yet available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. For example, I decided last year to catch up on the show “The Blacklist”, which had started its second season (A great show by the way). I saw the first season on Netflix, and bought half of the second season thru Amazon Instant Video, until I was able to catch up with the rest with cable on demand (which has the 7 most recent shows). Although to purchase or rent a movie, you do have to go thru the extra step of going directly on the Amazon Website to complete the transaction. Hopefully, Amazon will make it easier to purchase or rent directly from the Amazon Instant Video App in the future.

The little known secret

One extra benefit that is available to those who have an Amazon Fire device (tablet or phone), is that most movies and shows that are on Amazon Prime can be directly downloaded to your fire device. This is a great feature for when you do not have access to Wi-Fi available. You would just need to make sure that you have a good amount of space available to complete the download (I recommend a minimum of 10 GB of available space for most HD movies, and 5GB for shows). This is a feature that Netflix has already confirmed that they will never have, so it is a nice perk for those with Fire devices. Of course, this feature will be less relevant, as WiFi becomes more readily available, especially in cars. But we are not quite there yet. Of course, you only have access to the download for as long as the content is still in the Amazon Prime video library. You also have to check in with WiFi at some point within a few days, if you haven’t seen the movie or show by then.

Price advantage (sort of)

On paper, the $99 yearly membership of Amazon Prime is slightly cheaper than the common $8.99 a month Netflix package (Netflix does have a $7.99 a month package, but it is only standard definition, and only one tv/device can be used at the same time). Amazon Prime works out to be about $8.25 a month when you divide it up. Of course, the main problem here is that you can’t actually pay for Amazon Prime in monthly installments like you can with Netflix, so you must commit to a year, and pay for it all at once. With Netflix, there is no commitment, as you can cancel and restart whenever you like. Of course, with Amazon Prime, you are getting a lot more for your $99 a year than just the video streaming service. The main draw being the free 2 day shipping.

Conclusion

There is a great deal of overlap in TV and movies for both Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you can only get one, I would still advise to get Netflix for the reasons I explained earlier. Amazon Prime video would be a great stand alone service if Netflix did not exist. However; when you have both, your access to movies and shows is greatly expanded. Amazon is starting to get more aggressive in the original content space, so this argument will be further enhanced over time.

My other technology articles

Papa KyKy's guide to Amazon Music Player & Amazon Prime Music
A better world is possible by challenging what is possible
Why I am not upgrading to Windows 10 (yet)
Corporations return to the origin, and make us pay more
Privacy is an illusion
Four cloud focused companies vying for my attention

Tags

Amazon, Amazon Prime, Movies, Netflix, Streaming Video, Tv Shows

Meet the author

author avatar Papa KyKy
I enjoy talking about videogames, technology, and different ways to save money.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
31st Jul 2015 (#)

This all pre-supposes that you have the time to sit down and watch movies - whatever their source. In my case this does not apply!

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author avatar Papa KyKy
1st Aug 2015 (#)

Thank you for your comment John. One thing that is nice about Amazon Prime video is that it bookmarks where you were in the movie or show, so you don't have to watch it all in one sitting.

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author avatar WOGIAM
6th Aug 2015 (#)

I do not have any one of them, we now make do with basic tv stations and hardly even have time to watch as much as we want to on tv.

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