Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video Review

Pretty much everyone has heard of Netflix and everyone has heard of Amazon, but did you know that Amazon also offers a selection of streaming videos much like that of Netflix?

Both stream movies and programs over the Internet and can be played over Smart TVs, tablets, computers, game consoles, and mobile devices. Both are very reasonably priced, lower than one movie channel on cable or satellite per month.

If you had to pick just one, how would you choose?  Let’s take a moment to explore what each offers.


The undisputed king of paid subscription streaming video. Netflix offers perhaps the largest selection of anyone and is a great choice for anyone who watches a lot of movies.

They have no contract commitment and charge only $7.99 per month.

They offer a free month to get you started and see if you like it.  They will ask for credit card info on the sign-up and will charge you each month unless you cancel. Very reasonable.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon prime streaming video got in a little late on the market but is quickly making up for lost time.

They charge $79 per year and offer a good selection of programs and movies. They also offer a free month, asking for your credit card info upon sign-up and charging you the $79 if you do not cancel after the free month.

With the Prime membership, any program marked with the Prime symbol is free. All non-Prime programs have Amazon movie rental fees.

The nice caveat with Amazon Prime Instant Video is that by becoming a prime member, which is included in the $79 per year membership, you get free two day shipping on all Amazon purchases that have the Prime symbol next to the price.

This is nice because just about anything you search for in Amazon offers Prime. Not all but most.

I personally have been a member for awhile and the free shipping pays for the yearly membership.

One of the things I dislike about Amazon is that the app to find and use the service is not available in some devices. You would think that a company as large as Amazon would ensure that their service is accessible to all devices.  Be sure to check to see if you can access Amazon Prime Instant Video on your device/TV before signing up.

You can buy a Roku box for your TV and that will provide access. The Roku is a one-time buy and also includes some additional programs. Most game consoles will also have the Amazon app button but you have to use the game controller instead of a remote to operate it.

In a Nutshell…

Both are very good.  If you had to choose only one you have to decide if you like the larger selection with Netflix or if you like the free shipping on most Amazon items you buy plus a good selection.

At their current prices, both are cheaper than cable or satellite movie channels and you can watch whatever you want whenever you want. Why not dump the movie channels and get both?