From 2016 to 2019, the three years that Netflix has been in India, it has managed to garner 1.2-1.5 million subscribers, says an article on The Wire. This number is only going to rise over time, with India’s video-on-demand market expected to grow to $5 billion by 2023, from $500 million in 2018.
On the other hand, Amazon’s Prime has global subscriptions of almost 100 million, to which India contributes 10 million, making the country one of the biggest markets for this streaming service. If you are battling between the two streaming giants and wondering which one deserves your time and money, here’s a detailed comparison of the features, costs and popular reviews to help you make an informed decision.
Top Features of Netflix India
With 90 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix has definitely revolutionized the way we consume content today. Some of the key features that have made it such a huge success in India and internationally are:
- Create your own profile with your own show preferences.
You don’t need to watch a big bunch of shows your friend hates. This way, Netflix stops recommending shows to you that don’t align with your interests.
- Your Netflix subscription is valid worldwide, even if you have taken it in India.
Whenever you travel internationally, you can access each country’s own Netflix version and watch their categories of movies and TV shows.
- Cancel & Get back when you want to
Have you been binging on Netflix these days? Or, are you about to go on a long vacation? You can choose to cut down your usage by cancelling the subscription. However, your recommendations and viewing activity will still be present for the next 10 months. So, when you return, you get to see your usual customized content.
- Clean history
You can clear your history of all the movies you don’t want others to know you have watched. Or perhaps, the movies watched by others through your account, which are way out of your preference zone, but similar suggestions keep popping up. Simply delete the browsing history and get rid of the titles you don’t wish to see.
- Account activity tracking
Netflix helps you keep your personal account safe by showing you recent account access details. On the Viewing Activity page, you can check when your account was used, through which device and from which location. If you notice any suspicious activity, you can choose to sign out of all devices.
- Need audio? You got it.
Netflix offers an audio book option, which is quite useful, given our busy lifestyles, where we don’t always have the time to sit and stare at a screen. Instead of “seeing” your favorite show, you can choose to just hear it while driving to work. A narrator will give you detailed descriptions, so that you don’t miss out on the visualization of the story.
- Download movies if you need offline watching
Netflix has an added facility to download movies and series beforehand, for all those long hours in the flights and while commuting or anywhere with a poor internet connection. This helps you save mobile data and keeps you entertained at the same time.
- Big family sharing!
The best part is that up to 5 people can share a single Netflix account. You can create four additional profiles, apart from your own, and allow them to watch streaming videos by sharing your password. This way, you can make the most of your account and not feel guilty of paying the subscription but not using your account regularly.
Top Features of Amazon Prime
Amazon’s Prime membership is something you will love because of the endless exciting benefits that automatically get included. Prime Video is only one of them. Here are the most significant features of Amazon’s Prime Video.
- Video downloads? Yes!
You will be surprised to know that Amazon was the first streaming service to allow video downloads back in 2015. Although certain content can only be unlocked in certain geographies, you can still choose from a wide range of movies and shows to download to avoid getting bored on flights or remote areas with terrible connectivity.
- Family sharing? Yes!
Being a Prime member, you can share your account now with one adult, four teens and four children. However, Prime subscribers will still have the freedom to decide whether to share the video features with others sharing their account.
- Parental controls FTW!
Prime Video allows you to set parental controls to keep your children away from adult content. In fact, with a five-digit PIN, you can prevent anyone from watching categories that are not meant for them.
- Prime world of benefits!
The most economic part is that a single membership brings multiple benefits. You only have to subscribe to Prime membership, which then opens up the world of free one-day and same-day delivery, Kindle e-book rentals, access to lightning deals, Prime Wardrobe, Prime Pantry, Twitch Prime and more. Prime Video comes at no additional cost.
- Ad-free watching!
Prime Video is mainly ad-free, which means you avoid the frustration of constant pop-ups or sitting through irrelevant and unwanted advertisements before your show even begins.
- TV Screening, Yes!
You can stream your favorite shows on the big screen too. Simply connect the Amazon Fire TV Stick and start watching on any HD TV.
- Multiple platforms!
You can enjoy Prime Video either on the web or from a smartphone or tablet, with three devices playing different content at once. You can stream different titles on the three devices but the same title in only two devices.
- X-Ray Vision for the cast!
You can learn a lot about your favorite movies and TV shows too, such as cast details, featured music, trivia, etc., with X-Ray on Prime Video. It also offers other exciting features like character background, behind the scenes photos, bonus video content and more. This is available for more than 10,000 titles on compatible devices.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime – Which is More Economical?
The new Netflix plan, launched in 2019, lets members watch web series and movies at ?199 per month on a single device, in SD mode. The other regular plans in India are:
- Basic Plan: ?500 per month, with one screen and flexibility to watch on any device.
- Standard Plan: ?650 per month, with two screens and HD videos.
- Premium Plan: ?800 per month, with four screens with HD and Ultra HD videos and flexibility to watch unlimited shows and movies on devices of your choice.
The Premium Plan might seem a little expensive, but given that you can access Netflix on four devices simultaneously, you could consider splitting up the subscription costs. However, Netflix has been reportedly working on new models. The prices might rise in future, but since the price points and new features are still under testing, the subscription amount will not change anytime soon in India.
Amazon Prime Membership starts at ?129 per month or ?999 annually. This offers free and fast delivery on over 40 million products available on Amazon.in to more than 100 cities across India. If the Prime item is not eligible for fast delivery at your location, it still will be eligible for free standard delivery, with no minimum order value. Prime Music allows you access to 10 million songs and you can also enjoy unlimited 5% reward points and lifetime free credits. There are plenty of other facilities for you to enjoy.
Number of Titles on Netflix vs Amazon Prime
According to a recent study, Amazon Prime claims to have four times the number of films that Netflix doesVariety Media
Netflix had started the streaming service with as many as 1,000 titles. As of September 2019, there are 42 original Netflix drama shows, 6 Netflix original Marvel shows, about 49 Netflix original comedy shows, 9 original animation shows, 67 original family shows and around 64 original foreign language shows. In 2018, Netflix crossed 15,400 titles across all regional categories and was expected to have 700 originals in 2018. In 2017, the streaming service spent $6 billion on original content, which exceeded Amazon’s $4.5 million target.
According to a recent study, Amazon Prime claims to have four times the number of films that Netflix does, says an article on Variety Media. It offered 50,000 titles in the US in 2018, says Statista. However, to gain popularity, it needs high visibility and high quality shows like House of Cards, Star Trek and so on. Having a bigger basket of films doesn’t guarantee world class entertainment. But, following Netflix’s gradual shift to original movies, Amazon too is showing an interest in producing original content.
Common Challenges Reported by Netflix and Prime Subscribers
One limitation that people report regarding Prime Video is that it allows users to watch a few seasons for free, until it starts charging extra for the next few.
Netflix users often face constant buffering issues, along with the app crashing from time to time. Netflix has, time and again, increased subscription prices, without the prior permission of users. However, its brilliant customer service and multiple other useful features often overshadow these minor technical problems.
One limitation that people report regarding Prime Video is that it allows users to watch a few seasons for free, until it starts charging extra for the next few. Also, free content often turns into paid, without any notice. Amazon boasts endless free content but most of them are on rent, that too, without the slightest discount.
Considering that the two streaming services offer similar content, including regional Indian content, it does become a difficult choice. But, if you are mostly interested Indian content, consider other streaming apps too, such as Hot Star.