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Amazon Prime Video vs. Netflix

Amazon’s Prime Video and Netflix are giants of on-demand streaming—but which does it better? CableTV.com investigates.

Best overall

Price: $8.99–$17.99/mo.
Features: 5,000+ TV shows and movies

Best value

Price: $8.99–$12.99/mo.
Features: 15,000+ TV shows and movies

Bottom line: Is Prime Video or Netflix better?

For about the same price, do you go with Prime Video or Netflix? Depends on what you’re looking for.

Prime Video offers a higher quantity of TV shows and movies (over 15,000), and even more content through one-time rentals and premium channel subscriptions. Only a few Prime Video original shows and movies have dented the TV zeitgeist, however—hello, Mrs. Maisel.

The relatively leaner Netflix (with nearly 6,000 TV shows and movies) is more about quality and original content, with constant pop-cultural buzz and over 100 Emmy Awards to show for it. In sportsball, this is where we’d say “Scoreboard!” Prime Video has more shows; Netflix has the shows.

Prime Video vs. Netflix pros and cons

Netflix

Consistent original content
International TV shows and movies
Limited acquired content

Prime Video

Over 15,000 movies and TV shows
Included with Amazon Prime membership
Limited original content

Free trials and deals

Prime Video offers a 30-day free trial period to check out the service.

If you’re a T-Mobile customer, you can get in on the cellular provider’s “Netflix on Us” promotion, which gives you free Netflix with your phone service.

How are Prime Video and Netflix different?

Price Movies and TV shows Streams Video Details
$8.99–$12.99/mo. (or $119.00/yr.) 15,000+ 3 1080p, 4k View plans
$8.99–$17.99/mo. 5,000+ 1–4 720p, 1080p, 4k View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Netflix’s most popular plan, Standard, costs $13.99 a month, one dollar more than Prime Video does with a Prime membership (you can also get Prime Video alone for $8.99 a month). A Prime membership Prime Video subscription costs even less if you pay by the year: $119.00 breaks down to about $10.00 a month, a savings of around $36.00 annually compared to Netflix.

Of course, you’ll probably just end up spending it on Amazon—that’s how they get you.

Prime Video vs. Netflix plans and prices

Prime Video plans and prices

Price Movies and TV shows Streams Video Details
$8.99 15,000+ 3 1080p, 4k View plans
$12.99/mo. (or $119.00/yr.) 15,000+ 3 1080p, 4k View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

There’s technically just one Prime Video plan, but you can supplement it with dozens of premium channel add-ons (more on that later). Current and classic movies and TV shows are also available to rent or purchase through Prime Video on demand.

Netflix plans and prices

Price Movies and TV shows Streams Video Details
$8.99/mo. 5,000+ 1 720p View plans
$13.99/mo. 5,000+ 2 1080p View plans
$17.99/mo. 5,000+ 4 1080p, 4k View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

With Netflix’s three plans, you get more simultaneous streams and higher resolution capability on the more-expensive tiers. You still get the same amount of content, though, and there’s only so much 4K content on Netflix. But Premium might be more worth it for the four streams alone.

Cut the cord, save your cash

With a streaming service, you can get all the TV you want at a lower cost than cable or satellite. Check out CableTV.com’s Best Live and On-Demand Streaming Services 2021 review.

Prime Video vs. Netflix original shows and movies

Popular Prime Video original shows

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • The Boys
  • Hunters
  • Fleabag
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • Homecoming
  • Upload
  • The Expanse
  • Hanna
  • Jack Ryan
  • Utopia
  • Carnival Row
  • Bosch
  • Flack
  • Goliath
  • The Wilds
  • Patriot
  • Sneaky Pete
  • The Grand Tour
  • Making the Cut

Popular Netflix original shows

  • Bridgerton
  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • The Witcher
  • Cobra Kai
  • Lucifer
  • Stranger Things
  • Ozark
  • Big Mouth
  • BoJack Horseman
  • The Umbrella Academy
  • Emily in Paris
  • Dead to Me
  • Russian Doll
  • The Kominsky Method
  • Space Force
  • The Haunting
  • Warrior Nun
  • Grace & Frankie
  • Sex Education
  • Bling Empire

Don’t sleep on Prime Video’s originals. Shows like Fleabag and The Boys rival anything in the Netflix lineup, and two-season series Patriot is the most compelling spy anti-drama pretty much no one’s ever seen.

Netflix is far more prolific than Prime Video, though, and has more high-profile hits. When we say “partial list” above, we do mean partial—and that’s not even counting Netflix’s voluminous collection of foreign import series. When you need a snowbound Finnish crime thriller at 3 a.m., Netflix is there for you.

Popular Prime Video original movies

  • One Night in Miami
  • Sylvie’s Love
  • I’m Your Woman
  • The Sound of Metal
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • The Vast of Night
  • Uncle Frank
  • The Lie
  • You Were Never Really Here
  • Paterson
  • The Handmaiden
  • The Lost City of Z
  • Radioactive
  • Honey Boy
  • Landline
  • Herself
  • My Spy
  • Evil Eye
  • Late Night
  • Brittany Runs a Marathon

Popular Netflix original movies

  • Mank
  • White Tiger
  • Space Sweepers
  • Da 5 Bloods
  • The Wrong Missy
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
  • Extraction
  • The Old Guard
  • 6 Underground
  • The Midnight Sky
  • Hillbilly Elegy
  • The Dirt
  • The Irishman
  • Enola Holmes
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Wine Country
  • Bird Box
  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
  • The Social Dilemma
  • My Octopus Teacher

Netflix also outpaces Prime Video in original movies, even though Prime Video has attracted some critical raves in recent years. The buzz around Prime Video films like The Sound of Metal, One Night in Miami, and I’m Your Woman is resounding, and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is . . . notorious, to say the least.

Then again, Netflix brought us two of the most ridiculously funny musical comedies in recent years, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and The Dirt (yes, we know The Dirt was supposed to be a “serious” Motley Crue biopic, but come on). Netflix wins again here in quantity of quality.

Premium channel add-ons

Prime Video (partial list)
HBO ($14.99/mo.)
CINEMAX ($9.99/mo.)
SHOWTIME ($10.99/mo.)
STARZ ($8.99/mo.)
EPIX ($5.99/mo.)
CBS All Access ($5.99/mo.)
AMC+ (8.99/mo.)
Shudder ($5.99/mo.)
Sundance Now ($6.99/mo.)
IFC Films Unlimited ($5.99/mo.)
Hallmark Movies Now ($5.99/mo.)
Lifetime Movie Club ($3.99/mo.)
Acorn TV ($5.99/mo.)
BritBox ($6.99/mo.)
Noggin ($7.99)
Netflix

Netflix doesn’t offer any premium channel add-ons, while Prime Video has dozens. The subscription rates aren’t any lower than what you’d get through a standalone streaming app, but it is convenient having them in one place on Prime Video.

Also—note that it’s HBO listed above, not HBO Max. We expect it’ll eventually flip to HBO Max, though.

Get local channels for free

If you want to watch free local TV channels, you can pick up most of them with a one-time purchase of a digital antenna. Check our favorites in CableTV.com’s Best Antennas for Cord-Cutters 2021 review.

Prime Video vs. Netflix specs and features

Multiple streams

Streams Offline downloads
3 Yes
Basic: 1
Standard: 2
Premium: 4
Yes

With Netflix, you have to pay to get more streams: Basic gives you one, Standard gives you two, and Premium gives you four.

Prime Video gives you three streams. Both services allow for offline downloads for viewing on-the-go.

Compatible devices

Device
AirTV Player
Amazon Echo Show
Amazon Fire Cube
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Android phones and tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast
Chromecast Built-in TV
iPhone and iPad
LG TVs
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD
PC and Mac Web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku
Roku Express
Roku Ultra
Samsung TVs
VIZIO TVs
Wii
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Prime Video Netflix

With the exception of Nintendo, Netflix and Prime Video are everywhere.

Upgrade your gear

Need a new (or better) streaming device? Check out our Best Streaming TV Devices 2021 review.

Video and audio quality

Video Audio
1080p, 4K 2.0 stereo, 5.1 Dolby surround sound, Dolby Atmos
Basic: 720p
Standard: 1080p
Premium: 1080p, 4K
2.0 stereo, 5.1 Dolby surround sound, Dolby Atmos

Both services can stream at 1080p HD and 4K UHD resolution, but Netflix requires you to upgrade to its most expensive Premium plan to gain access to around 600 4K titles. Prime Video’s 4K content is included with its single plan, but the selection is smaller than Netflix’s.

Prime Video and Netflix both stream in 2.0 stereo, with most programming available in 5.1 Dolby surround sound and select content in Dolby Atmos. Like 4K, Dolby Atmos is available only on Netflix’s Premium plan, but it comes standard with the Prime Video plan.

Stream faster and better

Is your internet fast enough to handle 4K? Assess your basic speed needs in our Best Internet for Streaming 2021 guide.

Final take: Is Prime Video or Netflix worth it?

There’s a lot to like about both Netflix and Prime Video, but pitting them against each other is like comparing apples to 15,000 oranges. They’re not exactly aimed at the same audiences.

Netflix has fewer movies and TV shows overall, but its aggressive push on quality original content is unmatched by any other streaming service—or standard TV network or film studio, for that matter. If you’re the kind of viewer who’s always on the hunt for something new, there’s never a slow week at Netflix.

Prime Video has a small, but promising, slate of original content, but it’s still overwhelmingly a place to find older favorites on a whim. With over 15,000 movies and TV shows, it makes the Netflix “search rabbit hole” look downright shallow.

Prime Video vs. Netflix FAQ

Can you watch live sports on Prime Video or Netflix?

Netflix doesn’t carry any live sports. Prime Video airs several live NFL games during football season, as well as AVP pro volleyball matches during the summer, both at no extra cost. You can also watch live NBA basketball games by adding channels NBA TV ($6.99 a month) or NBA League Pass ($28.99 a month for All Team Pass, or $17.99 a month for Single Team Pass).

Does Netflix have more movies than Prime Video?

Netflix carries one-third the amount of movies as Prime Video does. Netflix’s average movie count per month is around 5,000, whereas Prime Video’s is about 15,000. Netflix has more original and foreign films than Prime Video, however.

Can you rent current movies and TV shows through Prime Video or Netflix?

Prime Video allows you to rent older and current movies and TV shows through its service; Netflix doesn’t. The average cost to rent recent theatrical-release movies through Prime Video is between $3.99 and $19.99, and the rental is good for 30 days.