Netflix and Amazon Prime Analyzed: 2011 End Year Streaming Video Comparison

December 14, 2011

The newest version of our paid streaming video streaming comparison is now available. This version goes a little deeper breaking out counts of TV episodes when possible. There is also a breakdown of closed captions on movies versus TV across the various services.

Dec 2011 video streaming compare
Comparison of Video Streaming Services. Click to see details.

Given that Netflix and Amazon Prime offer similar types of content, I thought it would be interesting to do a more in-depth comparison between the two (Hulu Plus also offers all-you-can-watch but is more focused on current TV). As Amazon and Netflix announce new content deals, news stories quote Amazon’s supplied number of 13,000 streaming movies and TV shows. As Netflix does not supply a number in its releases, media outlets report a range of numbers. If you are doing an apples to apples comparison, as of yesterday, Netflix offers 49,141 movies and TV episodes versus Amazon’s 15,232 11,586. Amazon Prime has 2,304 movies versus Netflix’s 9,828. While Amazon is catching up, they have a long way to go with a library one third the size of Netflix’s. Update: I realized that some Amazon TV content was being counted twice as they separately list the HD and non-HD version of the same show.

The other question I looked at is how much unique content does Amazon Prime have compared to Netflix? There’s a lot of overlap between titles on the two services. Amazon has about 1,000 movies that are not available on Netflix. For TV shows, it’s about 300 TV seasons worth. Obviously, the number of titles on Netflix and not on Amazon are huge in comparison. To deal with holes in their catalogs, Amazon offers a-la-carte purchase of most TV shows and movies whereas Netflix offers their DVD by mail plan.

Amazon Prime costs $79 per year and originally offered free two-day shipping only. Amazon has added access to their video and Kindle reading libraries this year. Netflix streaming costs $7.99 a month and now offers a separate plan for DVD-by-mail at the same price.

Other notable changes since the August-September 2011 update:

  • VUDU has more than doubled the number of TV seasons on its service from 333 to 839. Of those, 504 seasons are available in HD quality.
  • Hulu Plus has doubled the number of TV seasons available in HD from 275 to 595
  • iTunes has significantly increased the number of movies available in HD to 4,243 from 2,893
  • Netflix now has over 1,000 TV episodes and movies available in surround sound
  • Hulu Plus now has almost half of it’s TV episodes captioned.
  • While only a fraction of Netflix’s movies offer closed captions, half of the TV episodes are now captioned (over 20,000 of almost 40,000).

Happy streaming! Please let me know if you have any feedback.

Tags: Amazon, closed captions, HDTV, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, streaming, surround, VUDU

7 Responses to Netflix and Amazon Prime Analyzed: 2011 End Year Streaming Video Comparison

  1. Joe on December 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Yeah but Amazon is not being investigated by the SEC and They also just didn't crap all over their customers.

  2. Cygnus2112 on December 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks for the info. One thing that would be beneficial if you could list the studios the streaming company has and their particular conditions and rules with them.

  3. The Hub on December 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I'll see what I can do on that one. While getting the studio list is possible, the conditions and terms is something they don't readily share. Also, I've working on a way to rate quality. Yep, it's a tough one but I have a few ideas I'm working through.

  4. Prodan Statev on December 26, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Great info, thanks!! Please do another one that compares physical video rental sites like Blockbuster and Redbox. And please keep upgrading this one, it is the only one I use to choose streaming service!

  5. iamvoid on December 27, 2011 at 12:06 am

    i have netflix and amazon prime membership for 2 day shippng  i have not gone to amazon instat video library yet  netflix ismuch better and this stats proves it   

  6. [...] still have a significant lead over Amazon when it comes to the total number of TV shows and movies. When I last looked in December, Netflix had over 49,000 TV episodes and movies while Amazon had just over 11,600. While [...]

  7. Igal on July 9, 2012 at 7:31 am

    You should checkout
    It compares prices and check availability on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix & iTunes

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