Is Amazon Prime’s Content Selection Better Than Netflix?
I’ll say this right off the bat; the Amazon Prime collection is nowhere near as good as Netflix. Pick a movie at random and chances are you’ll find it on Netflix instead of Amazon Prime, but rarely the other way around. But the truth is more nuanced than a simple “Netflix has more”, it depends a lot on what kind of stuff you watch.
Amazon Prime is tailored specifically for an Indian audience, which it why it took them till last month to release. Netflix doesn’t cater to India much, and this is apparent even in their pricing, which is on par with global standards. If you’re more into English and International TV and Movies, Netflix is your choice. If you like Bollywood and Regional movies, you’ll find more on Amazon Prime. If you have kids or are a kid, the choices of Shinchan, Doraemon and Chota Bheem are all available to you only on Prime.
Amazon Prime Price: First 1 year, Rs. 499. Rs. 999 every year after that.
Netflix Price: Rs. 500 per month, which is Rs. 6000 per year.
Amazon Prime vs Netflix: Online Censorship by Amazon
Indians are long used to censored content – it’s one of the many reasons piracy is so prevalent. Anyone who has watched Deadpool in theatres here knows that unnecessary censorship is still par for the course when releasing anything that doesn’t abide by strict moral standards. The Central Board of Film Certification doesn’t extend to online video though, and thus there are no laws prohibiting Amazon Prime or Netflix from censoring content unless specifically demanded by government bodies (in resolution to the IT Act of 2000). Despite this, Amazon Prime continues to censor a LOT of things; popular movies such as The Godfather have blurred out nudity, many have been shortened due to scenes that have been edited out, and one episode of The Grand Tour is literally 30 minutes (half the size of the original) since they cut out the entire segment where Jeremy Clarkson drives a car made out of a cow.
The reasoning for private companies to censor content in India is always the same, that it’s easier to not have “an uprising” from certain not-beef eating, Whatsapp forwarding, “you need to be a doctor or engineer”, arranged marriage type folks. But Netflix doesn’t really censor anything in India, and neither does Youtube or any other video streaming service. I don’t have enough faith in the Indian government to say that they won’t extend censorship laws to apply to online video a few years down the line, but for now, it’s a free world. Amazon has greatly disappointed by not placing their faith in paying customers of India.
Amazon Prime Isn’t Just a Video Service
Aside from Prime Video, the oft forgotten aspect of Amazon Prime is its delivery features. If you live in one of the larger cities, Amazon Prime is extra valuable since a lot of the Prime products become eligible for one day delivery, and a lowered Rs. 50 price tag for same-day delivery in select cities. For me, this feature alone makes buying Prime worth it, since Mumbai is the one place where most products are available quickly. I never buy products from any online retailer unless they’re certified or backed by the company itself; “Amazon Fulfilled” or “Flipkart Assured” ensure that I can get easy replacement, returns or warranties down the line. All Prime products are “Amazon Fulfilled” by default. If you purchase even 5 products a year with One Day Delivery, it cancels out the Rs. 499 subscription cost of Prime.
Is Amazon Prime Worth Buying Over Netflix?
If you’re determined to make a choice between the two, the simple answer is no. But the real answer is the two products are completely different. Amazon Prime vs Netflix are not direct competitors, in the same way bread isn’t a direct competitor to cake.
Netflix is priced 12 times what Prime is, at minimum, but the variety of content on their platform is better. Is it 12 times better? That’s for you to decide based on what you watch. This site shows you what shows are currently available on Netflix India.
Netflix is 12 times more expensive than Amazon Prime, but it’s better if English movies and TV shows are what you want to watch.
The Amazon selection is much more limited to someone like me who doesn’t watch many Bollywood or Regional movies, but if that’s what you want to watch Amazon Prime might be your best choice. At Rs. 499 a year, it’s also significantly (and I mean very significantly) cheaper.
Amazon recently made losses of Rs. 6000 crore in India, and with the release of Prime, it looks like they’ll continue to be loss eaters to expand their market share. At the current price, there is no way Prime is making money for Amazon.