Gone are the days of buying a DVD or VHS from HMV or begging your parents to buy a paper view movie from Sky Box Office. As the Pandemic has progressed the more that Netflix and Amazon Prime have become a part of our lives. Everyone remembers the rise of “Tiger King” in March/April of last year. Many were captivated by the leadership of Jose Mourinho in the “All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur”. These streaming services are branching out too, their production companies now featuring movies for Oscar and Golden Globe Nominations. The question remains though, which is better?
On pure user-friendliness, I think Netflix takes this one. When on my laptop (and so long as another member of the family is not using the account at the same time) the ability to search and select a movie or TV show I find in general is easier. Plus the black and red colour way is quite iconic. It must be said in contrast when operating the Amazon Prime website it becomes more difficult. One can feel as if they are actually on the Amazon website when actually in fact on Prime. This may also be down to my inability to operate my laptop, but I have somehow gone from the Amazon Prime search bar into the “actual” Amazon website.
There is also the double edge sword of Amazon Prime tactically juxtaposing the Prime Videos next to the Pay-per-view videos. Convenient versus lethal to the bank account, typically the conclusion is drawn based on the health of my student loan balance.
I am also not fully sold on the way in which Netflix produces suggested content, when captions like “because you watched Fifty Shades of Grey” appear on your genre choice on Netflix it could often be compromising (to say the least) when you next open the website… this is purely based on what my friends say, I can’t speak from personal experience. Although I will always stand by “because you watched Notting Hill”, I’d watch that movie for an eternity. It is important to note that at the same time Amazon Prime is also prone to these kind of prompts, but based on my use of both streaming services, Netflix is a bigger culprit.
To conclude: despite this annoying feature of Netflix, I still find it more straightforward to operate.
The selection available of content on Amazon and Netflix becomes better as the years go by. Before the days of Amazon Prime, when Netflix was the primary streaming source, I remember the movie choice often being quite scarce. You would use the search bar and often be disappointed by the fact that the vast majority of movies you wanted to watch were not available. Yet with time this has gotten better. The “critically acclaimed” section will always have a fairly strong selection of movies. There will always be a few of the same movies, but also a healthy rotation of others.
With the arrival of Amazon, I always felt they had better movies. Yet this was partly due to the fact the provided a few new movies on Prime which were not available on Netflix. This being said both services seem to follow each others leads. For non-amazon or non-netflix produced material, they will often offer similar movies. Yet it is always worth searching both if looking for a more niche film… then sometimes inevitably having to choose whether to accept defeat and buy the film.
A new phenomenon is self produced content by both Amazon and Netflix. Deciding which is better is a subjective matter. My flatmates live for the Amazon “All or Nothing” series, yet I often find the Netflix sport documentaries better. Nonetheless they are both excellent. It is fast emerging that in terms of documentary content, the stuff produced by both companies is almost worth the subscription in their own right.
In terms of movies, both services seem to be producing acclaimed films. For Netflix this can be seen with “ The Irishman”, this presented a brilliant performance by Robert De Niro. Equally other movies like “Marriage Story” has received deserved recognition. Amazon Prime can boast the production of both “Manchester by the Sea” and recently “Borat 2” (“boast” might not be appropriate depending on your opinion of the film).
To conclude, it is hard to tell which service is superior, but I think the emergence of Amazon Prime, whilst showing another side to Amazon’s dominance as a company, also provides welcome competition to the video streaming industry. I feel over the last few years Netflix has greatly increased in quality as a result. This is based on anecdotal evidence: Mum and Dad do not question as much whether the Netflix subscription is worthwhile as they are more able to find the films they are after more regularly… previously a bone of contention (disclaimer I’m still using the family Netflix password… sorry mum).