The video streaming comparison has been updated for the first quarter of 2012! The chart compares paid premium video streaming services including Amazon Instant Video (and Prime), Hulu Plus, iTunes, Netflix and VUDU. Besides contrasting the features and capabilities of the services, the matrix also shows how many movies and TV shows were available on each service during the last week of March 2012. The counts of TV shows and movies are apple to apples including the number of movies, TV seasons and episodes. There are also break outs showing the number of HD, surround and closed captioned titles.
- Contrary to popular belief, the Netflix streaming library is still significantly larger than the one offered by Amazon Prime. By my count, Amazon has 13,666 TV episodes and movies available from their Prime streaming service compared to 51,373 from Netflix. If a TV series is available in high definition and standard definition, it’s only counted once.
- With the launch of the new third generation Apple TV, iTunes joins VUDU offering movies and TV show purchases and rentals in 1080P. VUDU is still the king when it comes to the total number of HD titles with over 6,400 movies available to rent or purchase. Apple is close behind with over 5,400 HD movies available from iTunes.
- While Amazon added a significant amount of TV content to its Prime service with the Discovery and Fox announcements, the service now has less movies available. At the end of 2011, there were over 2,300 all-you-watch movies on Amazon Prime. Now, that number is down to just over 1,500. However, the pay-per-view Amazon Instant Video Library continues to grow in size with almost 50,000 movies available to rent or purchase.
- Despite losing over 800 Starz movies at the end of February, Netflix only had a small net loss of movies. At the end of 2011, there were 9,828 streaming movies on Netflix compared to 9,521, a net loss of about 300 movies meaning Netflix added content from other sources. On the TV front, Netflix continued to add TV content with a net gain of over 2,500 TV episodes compared to last quarter.
- All of the a la carte services (Amazon, iTunes, VUDU) saw their overall libraries grow.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about the video streaming comparison.