Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video comparison review

Video streaming is a part of daily life now but are you trying to decide between Netflix and Amazon services? Here's our Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video comparison review including price, devices, content and more. 

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Before we continue, it's worth pointing out that Amazon Prime Instant Video used to be called LoveFilm Instant. Amazon LoveFilm still lives on as the DVDs and Blu-rays by post part of Amazon Prime. However, this article is about streaming so we're looking at Prime Instant Video only. See also: What is Amazon Prime Instant Video? What happened to LoveFilm?

See also: 9 best media streamers UK.

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video: Price

There are a few free streaming services around but you'll have to pay for the privilege of both Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Each offers a 30-day trial so we strongly suggest utilising these as a way of seeing which one you prefer. If your pockets are deep enough you can, of course, sign up to both.

When it was called LoveFilm, Amazon's service was once cheaper than Netflix but now they are both £5.99 per month. Anyone paying £79 per year for Amazon Prime get Amazon Prime Instant Video included at no extra cost. Since you'll pay £71.88 for a year of streaming, you may as well pay the extra to get the benefits of Prime such as free next day delivery on certain items.

Although Netflix is still available at £5.99 per month, this is now the basic package. As a new customer you'll need to pay £6.99 for standard (existing customers will get standard for £5.99 for two years) and £8.99 for premium. The table below explains the difference between the three options.               

Netflix subscription deals and prices

A key difference is that everything you see on Netflix is available to stream. However, only Prime Instant Video content with a 'Prime' banner in included. Other content is available to buy or rent via Amazon Instant Video (not Prime). We'll explore this in more detail in the content section.

Winner: Draw

Amazon Prime Instant Video devices

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video: Devices

To access streaming services, you're going to need a compatible internet connected device to do it on. Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video can be accessed on a range of different devices such as Smart TVs, consoles, smartphones, tablets and dedicated media streamers. See also: Amazon Fire TV Stick vs Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick.

We've put a table together below to show you the compatibility of each service (support may be limited to certain models, especially for TVs and Blu-ray players). Aside from the device listed below, Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video can be used via a web browser on a PC or laptop, whether or not they are connected to an external display like a monitor or TV.

 

Netflix

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Smart TV

Sony, Samsung, Sharp, LG, Philips, Panasonic

Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic

Games Console

Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U

Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U

Tablet

Android, iPad

iPad, Kindle Fire

Smartphone

Android, iPhone, Windows Phone

Amazon Fire Phone, Android, iPhone

Blu-ray player

Sony, Samsung, LG, Philips, Panasonic

LG, Samsung, Sony

Home cinema system

LG, Sony

LG, Samsung, Sony

Set-top box

Sony, YouView

Samsung, Sony

Media streamer

Apple TV, Philips, Roku, Western Digital, Virgin Media, Google Chromecast

Amazon Fire TV

As you can see from the table, Netflix has a superior amount of support for devices despite Amazon adding key support such as Android. The additional support on affordable media streamers puts it out in front.

For full list of devices and models check Netflix and Amazon.

Winner: Netflix

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video: Movies and TV shows content

Price and device compatibility is all well and good, but they mean nothing if there isn't anything good to watch. Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video offer films and TV shows, plus exclusive/original content which you won't find on rival services - which is better in this respect depends on your personal taste.

Examples of original series on Netflix include Better Call Saul, Orange Is The New Black, House of Cards, Bloodline and Daredevil. See our list of Netflix Original series for 2015.

Amazon Prime Instant Video offers original series including Ripper Street, Black Sails, Bosch, Constantine and Extant.

The content available on Netflix is ever changing with new titles being added but also things being taken away too. What we can say, is that the content is good quality across the board but you will have to wait a little while before new releases are added.

See: How to watch US Netflix in the UK.

Amazon Prime Instant Video content

Amazon touts 50,000 titles in its store but only 15,000 'films and tv episodes' (note that invidual episodes are being counted) are available for the monthly subscription. See below for comparative figures.

Content such as Game of Thrones, Hunger Games Catching Fire and Boardwalk Empire require you to buy or rent them via Instant Video (note how Game of Thrones doesn't have the Prime banner but Sherlock does). Essentially newer content isn't accessible for your monthly fee.

 

Netflix

LoveFilm

Film titles

6,874

2,665

TV titles

2,917

1,150

Statistics via Amazon Prime Instant Video and InstantWatcher (26/01/14).

Those figures show you just how much content there is available on each streaming service, and remember they are always changing – content is both added and removed just like BBC's iPlayer. Check out these 31 new Netflix films and TV shows for February.

As you can see, Netflix has a lot of content on offer and although Amazon offers pay per view, we're comparing what's included for your monthly fee here so Netflix comes out on top with its vast catalogue.

Winner: Netflix

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video: Summary

It's a very close fight between these two heavy weights of the streaming industry. If you can afford both then you will get the best of both worlds but if you can't then your decision should come down to what device(s) you want to watch on and what content you want to watch. Make use of those free trials to discover which you prefer.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

Netflix video streaming service: Specs

  • video on demand streaming service for PC, Mac, Android, iPhone and iPad
  • video on demand streaming service for PC, Mac, Android, iPhone and iPad

OUR VERDICT

Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video both cost £5.99 per month so there's no difference here. However, with more supported devices and a better range of content, Netflix is our winner for best streaming service.

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