Should I switch from Netflix to Amazon Prime?
I've been a Netflix customer for several years. But Amazon Prime's recent deal with HBO has made me wonder if it's time to switch allegiances.
This post comes from Karen Datko at partner site Money Talks News.
I've been a Netflix customer -- both DVD and streaming -- for several years. The service allowed me to painlessly disconnect from satellite TV. I can get the TV shows and movies I want without paying an excessive monthly bill.
But now that Netflix is allowing its DVD service to deteriorate, and Amazon Prime has signed that delicious deal giving it streaming rights to old HBO shows, it's time to compare the services and decide if I should switch. Maybe you've thought of this too.
I could save money. Netflix charges $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming and $7.99 for one DVD at a time. (Netflix is raising the price for new streaming members within a few months and will raise it for current subscribers in a year or two.) That's a total of $95.88 a year for each service.
Amazon Prime recently raised its price and now charges $99 a year for unlimited streaming. But that price includes free two-day shipping of Amazon purchases.
Price is not my only concern. Most of the movies I want to see from Netflix's collection are not available via streaming. You have to order the Netflix DVD. And that's becoming a frustrating experience. Since Netflix closed its distribution center in my state, the once standard next-day delivery is often four to seven days.
No wonder there are only 6.7 million DVD subscribers, half as many as there were in 2011. Netflix has reduced the number of DVD distribution centers from 58 to about 39, says Gigaom. Meanwhile, Netflix now has about 36 million streaming customers in the U.S.
If I could find the movies I want to watch by joining Amazon Prime, I'd leave Netflix.
I checked, and didn't have much luck. For example:
- Italian movies. I've watched hundreds in recent years as part of my effort to learn Italian for free. Many of those still on my Netflix DVD list are not available from Prime Instant Video.
- Western classics. Amazon has John Ford's "Rio Grande" but not his "Rio Bravo," "Fort Apache" "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" or "My Darling Clementine" (which, like an increasing number of movies in my Netflix DVD queue, is labeled "very long wait").
So, I'm sticking with Netflix, both the DVDs, to get the movies I want, and the streaming video. (I really liked "House of Cards.")
But that HBO streaming deal has me thinking about adding Amazon Prime anyway. The free shipping with Amazon Prime is not a big factor for me, but watching endless hours of "The Sopranos" via Prime Instant Video is. To watch "The Sopranos" and other HBO shows via Netflix, you have to order the DVDs.
What others have found
Others have compared the major video streaming services.
Jillian D’Onfro compared streaming via Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus for Business Insider after Amazon’s HBO deal. She concluded:
Even with all the facts in front of us, it's hard to make an overarching statement on which streaming service is best for everyone. Hulu Plus is the top choice for getting the newest episodes, but Netflix has the most entertaining original series and greatest selection of hot shows. Netflix has the best user and recommendation experience overall. If you're just looking for TV and movies, we're leaning toward Netflix as the best choice.
However, because Amazon Instant Video is just one aspect of Amazon Prime, and Netflix and Hulu Plus are still relatively inexpensive, it doesn't have to be a case of either/or. If you spend a lot of money on Amazon and you want to diversify your TV selection, Prime is worth the money.
Daniel Kline of Motley Fool compared Netflix and Amazon Prime, again after the HBO deal and focusing only on streaming. He wrote:
Amazon Prime Instant Video lags behind Netflix but both services offer an almost unimaginable array of choices. The challenge is that while Netflix has more appealing originals and top series, Amazon has enough that it's likely most people will be missing something by only having one or the other. How many people who want to watch "House of Cards" would also be attracted to "The Sopranos"?The overlap is likely high and for people who have the time to watch a lot of television buying both services might be the smartest choice.
Digital Trends also compared Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Plus, covering content as well as technical aspects.
Have you thought about switching from Netflix to Amazon Prime?
More from Money Talks News
I tried Amazon Prime, and I hate the interface. It is difficult and confusing to use. I WOULD NEVER TRUST MY KIDS TO USE IT FOR FEAR THAT THEY WOULD CLICK ON THINGS THAT CHARGE EXTRA.
HULU is horrible! You have to pay money and sit through commercials! That is a bunch of bull! ONE OR THE OTHER!
Clarification, HULU basic is free but it sucks. HULU plus costs money, and it still sucks just a little less than the basic.
Amazon Prime is great for making a lot of small purchases on Amazon, with the two-day free delivery with no minimum. Previously, I wouldn't purchase anything on Amazon unless I was going to spend over $35 to get the free standard shipping. I definitely purchase more from Amazon, now that I have Prime.
In regard to the selection of shows, Netflix is better, but Amazon Prime has a few shows that Netflix doesn't. While it sucks to have to pay extra for individual new releases on Amazon that are not included with Prime, it is convenient to have it available as a portal to get movies on demand, instead of having to run up to a Redbox. While the movies are more expensive, the convenience is nice if you want to get a movie in the middle of the night.
I will admit the free HBO streaming of shows is a big step in the right direction, but am I wrong in assuming you'll still have to wait a long time for new shows (for example 4th season of Game of Thrones)? If that's the case, I'll just keep waiting to watch those shows until they're out on DVD, so I can get them on my DVD Netflix service. I still have a distribution center close. I have 1 DVD by mail plan. If I sent out a movie on Monday, I'll get the next movie Wednesday, which isn't a big deal to me.
No, you should have both and no cable tv.
The cost of the Amazon Prime not only gives you a lot of free movies and TV series but 2 day free shipping on many items from one of the best internet sellers for about 79.00 - 99.00 per year total.
Netflix has the documentaries my bf likes, plus the original content.
HuluPlus has next day new episodes for some shows we like but miss on occasion when it normally airs. The commercials annoyed me at first, but one, they are getting less obtrusive, and two, we pay for cable and get WAY more commercials, so what's the difference, really?
And Amazon has a lot of kids shows from the 90's I watched growing up that you can't find anywhere else. Also they will be having HBO shows soon. Plus the 2-day shipping. They don't force you to pay extra to watch something, its not like they charge you after you click. If you don't want to pay, just watch something else. There are plenty of choices. And if its a movie, just wait a few weeks, and it will be free. Or see if its on Netflix. Or rent it from Redbox for $1 and change a night.
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