Amazon’s instant video streaming vs. Netflix services

Posted by Nikoletta Ventseslavova

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If you are an online video streaming fan, then you are probably well acquainted with the fact that as far as unlimited video streaming goes, Netflix is the only market-monarch. As far as streaming movies go with an unlimited plan at a set monthly cost, Netflix is it – but that could be changing soon.

Here comes the question about the content. Amazon’s catalog of movies and TV shows are not superior to Netflix’ - in fact, they’re essentially the same, with some exceptions. Most of the Amazon Prime Instant Video titles highlighted on the site – such as “Eyes Wide Shut” and  “Food Inc.” – are all available on Netflix.

But Amazon’s goal isn’t becoming leader in online streaming. Rather, Amazon seems to be promoting Amazon Prime. It’s a membership program, that gives you and your family the opportunity of fast shipping. For example, you can try the FREE Two-day shipping and the One-day shipping for $3.99 per item on all eligible purchases for an annual membership fee of $79. The Amazon Prime members can watch instant videos through Amazon Instant Video, which is commercial-free and provides instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost.

A market analyst said that bundling Amazon Prime with instant streaming is the company’s way of offering “a more valuable, broader package.” Looks like it really does. Amazon’s Video on Demand service, offers you to either buy or rent the movie for 48 hours. You can watch Amazon’s offerings on your Mac, PC or streaming media device, such as the Roku or an Internet-connect TV. Furthermore, Amazon Prime memberships can be shared with up to three “family members.”

Regarding the Netflix’s streaming video selection – it’s often months after a movie is released on DVD before we see it in their Instant Watch category.Amazon’s video on demand catalogue(VOD) is much better as far as more recent movies go, but right now you are going to pay $3.99 (SD) – $4.99 (HD) to rent them for 48 hours. Amazon offers an annual membership at $79.99 per year ( or $6.67 per month).  Amazon has already undercut its competition on price. In comparison  Netflix charges $7.99 for its Instant Streaming-only service, which adds up to $95.88 per year.

Glossary of films


  • Amazon has a big advantage over Netflix of being able to allow their core business drive the growth of their streaming service without having to worry about how many members they sign up each quarter, which is exactly what Netflix is so dependent on.
  • Amazon has the ability to essentially subsidize the streaming service for quite some time, allowing them to spend money on licensing more content and quickly expanding their inventory. Anyone who thinks Amazon won’t spend the kind of money Netflix does to license more content is seriously underestimating the company.
  • Another big advantage Amazon has over Netflix that no one seems to be discussing is the fact that Amazon also sells and rents digital copies of movies and TV shows. Adding a subscription service now gives Amazon three different ways to get in front of the consumer and multiple ways to generate revenue. More importantly, the multiple distribution models are something the content studios love and want to see more of.


  • Compared to Netflix, the selection of content in Amazon’s Instant Video streaming service is about 25% of what Netflix has today. The quality of video with Amazon’s service is not as good and Amazon’s Instant Video offering is not yet on a lot of devices. But the fact is, these were all of the same shortcomings Netflix had in the market when they first started their streaming offering. You can sign up for Amazon Prime Here

Read also: The video streaming and the death of the video rental stores.


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