Amazon Prime Video, a popular online streaming service and one of the biggest rivals of Netflix, is now available to users in 200 countries including India. The availability of Prime Video enhances the options for Indian users looking for quality international content.
Like Netflix, Prime Video is a subscription based service but is a lot more affordable compared to the former. It has a single annual subscription plan of Rs499 which works on smartphone, tablets, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation, TV and PC. This means a user is actually paying Rs41.50 every month for multiple devices. In comparison, Netflix presents its users with more subscription options but charges a lot more. Even the Basic Subscription plan costs Rs500 per month allows a user to access content in Standard Definition (SD) resolution on only one device at a time.
The Standard Plan which costs Rs650 a month allows users to stream content in High Definition (HD) resolution on up to two devices at one time.
The Premium subscription plan which costs Rs800 allows user to watch Ultra HD (4K) content on four devices simultaneously. Amazon Prime allows user to stream in HD or SD or 4K (if available) without charging anything extra over the annual plan.
Both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix allow free access to their content for the first 30 days after subscription. The current price structure gives Prime Video an upper hand over Netflix, but it won’t be an easy choice as both of them have unique content to offer.
Users who have already subscribed for Amazon Prime can access Prime Video with the same subscription. And if you have Prime Video subscription, you can access Amazon Prime’s one day delivery service for free.
While Amazon allows user to browse through the Prime Video library without signing up for the subscription, users have to sign up and subscribe before they can even take a look at the Netflix library.
Which offers more content?
One of the highlights of Prime Video is the Amazon’s Original shows. These are very similar to Netflix Originals and many of them like Jeremy Clarkson’s The Grand Tour, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle and The Man in the High Castle are critically acclaimed. All these are available to Indian users. Almost all Netflix Originals are available to users in India and among them House of Cards, Daredevil, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black are quite popular.
According to unogs.com, which keeps a record of the number of TV shows and movies offered by Netflix in every country, the India library has improved significantly in the last few months. Though compared to the US library where users have access to over 4,106 movies and 1,288 TV series, India library includes 1,468 movies and 578 series as of December 2016. Amazon is yet to share any details on the number of movies and shows its India library has. But the Prime Video in US offers 18,405 movies and 1,981 TV shows. The numbers are likely to be a lot lower in India due to licensing issues which restrict access to certain content to select countries.
There is a section for children too, but it works as only a category. In Netflix, you have the option to create a separate profile for children which shows only those TV shows and movies which has no explicit content in them.
When it comes to offering local content Netflix has a lot of catching up to do with local services like Hotstar. Their India library is paltry and barring a few Hindi movies Netflix has very little to offer. It has recently added a few critically acclaimed Marathi, Tamil and Bengali movies to its inventory, but the number is still low and lacking in variety.
Prime Video’s India library is comparably impressive. It is divided based on languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu which makes finding content a little easier for users. We found about 100 old and new movies in all these languages with English subtitles. Some of the fairly new movies such as Kabali, Sarabjit, and Sultan are also available on Prime Video.
Both Prime Video and Netflix have an offline mode which allows user to download movies and individual episodes of TV shows. User can download them on WiFi and access them even when they are offline. What gives Netflix a slight edge is the option to adjust the quality of video streams on mobile broadband. The objective is to help users keep a check on the amount of mobile broadband they are spending on video streaming. It allows 4 hours of video streaming on just 1GB of data.
While Netflix has a plenty of TV series, Amazon Prime Video impresses with its movie selections, especially the Indian content. If you are more into TV series, Netflix is still irreplaceable.
Prime Video’s subscription cost is so low that it won’t pinch users and they can subscribe for it even if they have Netflix subscription. Also, with the Prime video subscription one can take advantage of one and two-day delivery service under Amazon Prime.