Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video in the UK: Which is the UK’s best streaming service?
Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are two of the most widely used streaming services available in the UK. You can count the likes of NowTV as a major player, but we all know that everyone is using either Amazon Prime Video or Netflix to get their streaming fix. Still, more and more people are – as our US cousins would say – “cutting the cord”, and killing their licence fees.
To those not used to subscription-based streaming services, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video may seem alien, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. If you’re used to BBC iPlayer, All4 and ITV Hub, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video aren’t any different – they just have a much wider catalogue of film and TV shows to enjoy from across the ages.
To make the ordeal of picking up Netflix and/or Amazon Prime Video easier, we’ve gone through the what’s what of each service and weighed up which service is best for you.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: What’s what
There’s a reason the, somewhat outdated, meme “Amazon Prime Video and chill” doesn’t exist. Netflix is still king when it comes to the culture surrounding streaming services and, although its UK offering remains a slightly anaemic version of its US cousin, there’s plenty on offer to justify the crown.
Nipping the heels, however, is Amazon’s Prime Video service. With a growing arsenal of award-winning original programming and a ready-made user base of Amazon Prime customers, Amazon Prime Video is bringing the fight to Netflix.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Price
Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video come with a free 30-day trial, so if you want to test before you buy we’d recommend trying these out first. If you’re a student, Amazon also offers a free six-month trial so there’s not really any excuse to not pick up Amazon Prime Video if you’re still studying.
Netflix is competitively priced, starting at £5.99 for your basic standard-definition streaming to one device. £7.49 will bag you can add an extra device and support for HD streaming and for those who fortunate enough to need Ultra HD streaming and access across four devices, Netflix’s priciest subscription is just £8.99.
Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, comes bundled with an Amazon Prime subscription, which costs £79 per year and comes with unlimited one-day delivery. If you aren’t a Prime member, Amazon does offer up a cheap £5.99 monthly subscription to gain access to its “Prime” content. Otherwise you can pay for shows and movies on an individual rental basis as you see fit.
If you order a lot of things on Amazon, the Prime membership is the one to go for. If you’re in it for the films and shows, it’ll really depend which exclusives you like the look of.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Devices
Both services now connect to a wide range of devices, so there’s really not much between them in this regard. Netflix is, essentially, available on almost anything that has an internet connection and access to a display of some kind. Amazon’s Prime Video service is also as ubiquitous, but naturally Amazon prefers you buy one of its Fire TV Sticks to access it. Unfortunately it doesn’t have Chromecast support but it is available on Android TV with Nvidia’s Shield TV being the only format to utilise Amazon Prime Video 4K HDR playback.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Content
It’s all about the shows, and both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have more than their fair share of aces up their sleeves. In Netflix’s corner is House of Cards, Narcos, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, BoJack Horseman and Daredevil, to name just a few of its Netflix Originals.
Over on Amazon Prime you have Bosch, The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, Mr Robot, Hand of God, American Gods, Sneaky Pete and The Grand Tour. If you have a particular show in mind, that will inevitably push you towards a particular service (which can also be a source of annoyance, especially when you spread that over other platform-exclusive titles on NOW TV like Game of Thrones or Twin Peaks).
When it comes to films, Netflix boasts an ever-revolving catalogue of cult classics, relatively new movies and some exclusive indie films. Amazon Prime Video also offers up a similar catalogue but it’s arguably more focused on TV shows than films and its movie catalogue isn’t as extensive. It’s worth noting that Prime Video also requires you to pay to watch some films despite having a Prime membership.
The total amount of TV shows and films available on both services continuously changes as content is added or removed. At the time of writing, UK Netflix has over 3,000 films and shows to watch (compared to the US’ 5,600). Conversely Amazon Prime Video boasts a gigantic catalogue of movies (reportedly 18,000) and just under 2,000 TV shows to watch. That said, Amazon Prime Video isn’t completely accessible from a one-off subscription, with many shows walled behind rental fees on top of your inital Prime subscription costs.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: VerdictWith its stellar lineup of series and films, Netflix still stands a few feet above Amazon Prime Video purely in terms of entertainment. Unless there’s a service-specific series that’ll sway your choice, Netflix is your the best bet for overall breadth of content – even if Amazon Prime Video outnumbers it in sheer quantity.
If, however, you want to buy into Amazon’s ecosystem and tend to buy a lot of things online, a yearly Amazon Prime membership offers greater value for money. We’ll give this to Netflix overall, but if you’re an avid shopper you might want to look into Amazon Prime Video.
Overall Winner: Netflix
Read on to the next page to find out how the UK’s other streaming services – Now TV, Mubi, Sky Go etc. – stack up.