13th Feb2020

Which is Better? #6 – Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video

by Chris Cummings

Welcome back to another edition of “Which is Better” here on Nerdly. I tend to, in past articles focus on specific movies or series’ or television shows, but I thought, for the pure hell of it, to pit two big streaming services against each other and decide which is the better of the two.

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Now, streaming has become a huge deal. Everyone and their grandmother has some sort of media streaming in their home, be it Spotify for their music needs, Game Pass or PS Now for their video game desires, or the aforementioned Netflix or Amazon Prime Video for their film and television binging. Some of us nerds even have all of the above, but the less said about us the better.

Netflix is the big-boy in town and has the largest subscriber base of any media streaming service going, with over 167 million paying customers worldwide and growing. When it moved away from its DVD rental roots to become the streaming behemoth it is today, it became the Disney of the landscape, the NFL of home video, the… erm… Amazon of internet-required movie and television consuming.

Speaking of Amazon (seamless… not), Prime Video has become a great choice for those who want an array of film and TV at their fingertips and it continues to grow as it gets older and Amazon, like Netflix have done, continue to develop their own original content as well as shows that appear exclusively on their service, a clever move for both companies who are competing for the consumer in a way that, for some of us, gives us little choice but to just subscribe to both services so we get to watch ALL OF THE THINGS.

So, anyway… you get it. Prime (which also allows for perks on Amazon’s store, music and books for extra cost) and Netflix are the T-Rex’s in the land of on-demand entertainment, and so it’s an obvious battle to pit these two monsters head-to-head in a battle of which… is… BETTER!

NETFLIX

The array of television and movies on Netflix is astounding, but before going in to that, just take a look at the exclusive Netflix Original content that is available on the service now. The sheer depth of Original stuff in 2020 is something to behold, with many looking to Netflix to carry and produce their stuff now. A big one on the list is the Academy Award nominated Martin Scorsese film, The Irishman, which landed on Netflix last year. The film saw release in some theatres, but it made its mark when it hit Netflix, and has become a critical success. This shows the quality of the films on offer on Netflix right away. There’s other Oscar nominees (and winners) such as Uncut Gems, Roma, Marriage Story, and Mudbound as well as top notch rom-coms like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and many others in the stratosphere of genres of original films on the service, and they just keep coming. As for the original television output, with the likes of the newly released Locke & Key, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Mindhunter, The Good Place, The Crown, Riverdale, GLOW, Dear White People and Daredevil to name just a few, the future is bright.

These titles are all aside from the films and shows that Netflix has the rights to, which currently include big ole film titles like John Wick: Chapter 3, La La Land, Lady Bird, Dunkirk, Missing Link, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Call Me By Your Name, Mrs Lowry & Son and mid90s, and television shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Once Upon a Time, Pretty Little Liars, Top of the Lake, Gilmore Girls, How To Get Away With Murder, Derry Girls, Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who. I could go on and on (and on) about the options that are available here, and there’s a real quality too. The interface is easy to move around, the recommendation system, though flawed, works better than Prime, and there regularly updated options means there’s always something to watch and enjoy. I’ve been a subscriber for many years and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. It’s the flag-bearer.

AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

Now, Prime isn’t without it’s kick-ass options and positives. There’s a real mass of wonderful content on the service and, not unlike Netflix with it’s original content, Amazon has gone the same route, releasing films and television shows themselves. With films like Jexi, Paterson, Troop Zero, Brittany Runs A Marathon, The Upside, Peterloo, Last Flag Flying, Beautiful Boy and The Big Sick, there’s plenty of really good stuff to be found, though it does tend to pale in comparison to the films so-far released by Netflix. Time will tell, though. It’s early days. On the television front, Amazon have brought us fantastic shows like Outlander, American Gods, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Good Omens, Preacher, Mr. Robot, and many others, and it’s this area that truly shines. There are so many original shows on Amazon that are just excellent, and for me it’s the main reason I subscribed in the first place. I hope they keep bringing us high-quality shows like they are doing, because it will keep me on board, for sure.

Aside from the Amazon Originals, there’s a vast sea of films and shows. It’s just… kinda hard to find them a lot of the time. I’m a big horror mark, and so I love to find old and new horror flicks, obscure ones sometimes, too. 80’s horror I may have forgotten about. It’s here, there’s a lot of it, but it’s damn hard to find without searching for a horror film, and then clicking “films like this” over and over again to swim through this massive lake of titles. Netflix is a much easier service to search through, and Amazon Prime Video really needs to change things up and make their template slicker and easier to navigate. Still, with non-Amazon film titles currently on there like 3 From Hell, Skin, Booksmart, Hacksaw Ridge, I, Tonya, Wild Rose, Carol, It and Heathers, and non-original shows like Buffy, New Girl, The (US) Office, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, Bones, Community, This Is Us, The X-Files and Lost, there’s a lot to go at. I do believe it’s the television show options that are what really takes Prime Video to the next level, and the primary use for me when it comes to the service.

SO… WHICH IS BETTER?

WINNER: Netflix

There are big positives for both services, and each have exclusive original movies and shows that are hard to ignore, so there is an argument to be made for both, really. It’s the overall quality, however, of Netflix, that makes it the winner for me. The movie options are often much better, and they don’t tend to remove things as often as Prime does. Sure, the television side of Amazon’s service is excellent, but is still a step behind Netflix. It’s great, though, that we have all this content nowadays, right at our fingertips. Whether I’m watching Mrs Maisel on Prime or Stranger Things on Netflix, I am gonna be having a blast. Still, at the end of the day, if you have to choose one, Netflix is at the top of the pile still. It’s the king for a reason.
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Thanks for reading folks. Do you agree? What are your favourite original films and shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime? Let us know!

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