Website, App & User Experience
I spent last 2 months on world’s 2 largest videos-on-demand content delivery platforms – Amazon Prime Video(UK) and Netflix(UK).
I am writing about my experiences with these platforms as an end user. What is not included here are: features of both platforms, buying options, videos quality etc. You can see all this on their websites.
Cut to the chase- Amazon and Netflix are twins with respect to some features and total strangers with respect to some.
— *** Website *** —
Both has very intuitive websites throwing titles in your face customized for your viewing based on your browsing and viewing habits. However, amazon keeping it’s usual amazon-ish look and feel shows only 3-4 titles in a page and forces you to scroll a lot. Where on the other hand Netflix shows at least 18 titles in 1 screen, you have better chance of seeing something you want to see in the first glance.
Also, Netflix has options of profiles so you and your wife can have different profiles, different watch lists, settings etc and hence different experience. However it does not provide password protection for switching profiles that means children can see what papa watches all night long. Netflix has Hindi movies too which Amazon certainly lack. Amazon do have Hindi content but they are tied up with another subscription based channel called Heera which means another 5 Pound per month for just 29 movies and 1 TV show in total. On the other hand, Amazon has 2 dozens or so extra channels and hence has more variety.
The usuals like search, settings, account etc same on both websites.
Verdict: Netflix website offers better user experience, usability and options like profiles. Downside is no password protection for your profiles.
— *** App *** —
Both Netflix and Amazon prime video has App for both Android and iOS. Incidentally I used the app only over Android.
Netflix app in available over google play store. The app offers pretty much everything Netflix has on the website – titles, categories, settings, account, profiles etc. The app has the inbuilt player. The Netflix app has Chromecast support.
Amazon Video App is not available on Google play store, but is available on Amazon Store which in turn is available on Google play. Amazon video app does not have Chrome cast support. Amazon video app is 99% similar to Netflix in terms of content and UI/UX, however where it leaps miles ahead of Netflix is, the performance.
1. Netflix/Amazon video players have 30/10 sec jump-back option but Netflix does not have 30 sec fwd jump option where Amazon video App has 10 sec jump fwd option.
2. Netflix has glitches. It sometime does not cast sometimes specially if I turn off /Turn On the TV and try to cast again. It shows buffering when you seek, common it is 2017 guys. Amazon video app work like a gentle breeze of autumn on your face. It does not show the ugly buffering text, 10 sec fwd/back button works in micro seconds. Of course it cannot cast so no point discussing that but with android’s cast whole screen option, you can cast.
3. Parental control of Netflix App sucks, big time. You can set parental control PIN. If you play a mature content it asks for the PIN, you lock the phone, your child unlocks the phone, open Netflix and voila the content plays without PIN. Amazon video app is very smart. You play mature content, press back, come back to the app, it asks for PIN, you lock/unlock phone, it asks PIN. No matter what you do, if it is PIN locked, it will ask for PIN before playing it.
4. Mature Content display in title listings – Ha Ha.. no need to say how Netflix is showing up Hot Girls Wanted and Nymphomaniac Vol 2 in your title lists home page. That means Netflix is not aware that Phones and Tabs are shared between family members in normal households. Amazon video app quietly push the adult content to the background. 2 Big thumbs up !!
— *** Final User Experience and my Verdict *** —
If you do not have money constraint, go for Amazon Prime video, buy Amazon fire stick and enjoy the highest quality of binge watching. It is for those who value experience the most.
If you are tight on budget, have TV with Netflix app or already have Chromecast, go for Netflix. It has more titles.
[update 02/10/2017] Compare prices on google play before buying or renting from Amazon Prime Video. Wonder Woman is only to buy on Amazon for £14 but you can rent it on Google Play for £4. (21 PLN = ~4 GBP)
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About me: I am a system engineer, working for Motorola Solutions since 2005. I work on product test, performance test, deployments, installation, android apps, real time mission critical voice communication and video streaming products.