With the holidays coming up, Prime Video and Netflix are shaping up to be very attractive options for budget quality entertainment. While there are other platforms (e.g. HBO Go), Prime and Netflix uses a similar business model and contain similar content, and unlike local TV, you don’t need a setup box for both.
Prime is well organised with clear categories readily available (see above) for you to pick your favourite.
When chillin’ this is perhaps the biggest factor to consider, these categories are essential for an easy experience when binging on a Saturday night.
On the other hand, Netflix requires you to sift through a myriad of confusing categories (sometimes hilariously) which can cut into your precious leisure time.
The organisational advantage that Prime held is unfortunately, reduced by the issue of incomplete and separated seasons. I found the lack of availability of all the season’s episodes (e.g. the Office USA) annoying.
Additionally, it seems that Netflix library is updated more regularly than Prime’s library. Prime lacks a recently added section (see above), which makes it difficult to determine if new shows have been added.
Furthermore, the seasons are organised separately thus preventing a seamless binge for you. The issue is not a problem with episodic shows, but what about serials?
Off the bat, I was not impressed by the lack of an explanation for the removal of episodes.
Part of Netflix’s pricing strategy is to discriminate the number of viewers your Netflix can host, such that your friends can share your account based on the amount paid.
The screen sharing issue is not an issue with Prime.
While Netflix allows you to log in as different ‘users’ under the same account, this advantage is mostly cosmetic rather than having an actual effect on your experience. Furthermore, this might complicate things, with the splitting of the cost or accusations that one user is not paying enough.
The prime aspect of Prime is perhaps its x-ray feature (see right). Apart from providing fluffy trivia, it allows you to find out the songs being played in the video. In comparison, Netflix’s watching experience is barren of features (see left).
Apart from that, it allows you to go directly to the store to purchase songs from the movies or TV show.
Overall: Prime’s experience narrowly beats Netflix. Prime’s lively user-experience might be bogged down with incomplete shows, but it makes up with it with a robust user-interface while watching.
Netflix’s library is – on first-impression – larger and more colourful than Prime’s library, with many award-winning shows being available on Netflix.
Prime has a healthy dose of shows and movies (considering that some overlap with Netflix). From Man in the High Castle to the Grand Tour, the latter of which has arguably become Prime’s golden goose, due to the transfer of the Original Top Gear to the Grand Tour.
Variety is present in Prime as it is on Netflix, but the issue with Netflix is that while it has this diversity of options, it has an overabundance of questionable or objectively dull shows.
Netflix’s brand and aim to churn out original content leave it susceptible to bland Adam Sandler flics about some nonsensically dull story.
So, even though Netflix does have more shows then Prime, these shows are often bland (e.g. Big Mouth, which is similar in many aspects to Bojack Horseman or Rick and Morty) and you will likely get bored after a certain point.
At the end of the day, you are paying the extra cost for Netflix shows. Netflix pumps more of its profit into the production of shows, which might not always bear fruit and could dump the cost on you.
Overall: Netflix beats Prime when comparing libraries. But this is only a narrow victory, Netflix libraries might have some diamonds but be prepared to mine through the coal to reach them.
As Uber has shown, buying into a platform could be a risky choice for a consumer – and the need to change to another platform could be uncomfortable for some.
Prime’s entry to Singapore serves to promote competition in digital screenings. But it’s sudden expansion and Netflix’s decision to increase original shows might lead to instability in the future.
Analysis has indicated that Netflix faces several threats. From litigation cases in the US and the implementation of E-Commerce Taxation in Singapore which could collectively affect your experience of Netflix in the long-run.
Don’t forget, Amazon backs Prime, one of the largest tech firms on the planet it is in far healthier position to make big promotions to consumers. This makes Prime’s position more secure than Netflix.
However, this is of no concern to you if you intend to subscribe to a service over the summer.
If you’re looking to chill out in the short term and are low on money, perhaps Prime is your answer. But perhaps your expectations should be managed for the time being as it is still a relatively new entrant to this market. Netflix will be your answer if you have friends who would be interested in sharing the platform. But be ready to go through a jungle of content.
Numerically, I would argue that currently, Netflix has the upper hand but Prime does have potential. Its greatest downfall is that Prime’s disorganised library is dwarfed by Netflix but it makes up for that with pricing.