Amazon Prime Video Has 4 Times Netflix’s Movie Lineup, But Size Isn’t Everything

Amazon Prime Hunger Games Mockingjay –
Courtesy of Lionsgate

Compared with Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video has four times as many films available for streaming, according to a new study.

That certainly sounds impressive. However, how much the sheer volume of selections available on any video-subscription service weighs on its perceived value is a different question. Quality, rather than quantity, is arguably far more important.

As of March 29, Amazon Prime Video offered 18,405 movies and 1,981 TV shows in the U.S., while Netflix stocked 4,563 movies and 2,445 series, according to an analysis by Wall Street research firm Barclays. In terms of tonnage, Hulu tops Netflix in both areas — with 3,588 shows and 6,656 movies.

Over the past year, Netflix’s overall catalog has shrunk by 28%, per the Barclays research note published Thursday. A major part of that stems from Netflix’s deal with Epix expiring in September 2015, representing about 2,000 movies. Among titles from Epix, now available on both Hulu and Amazon Prime, are “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

Size does matter, Barclays opined. “In order to succeed, (over-the-top) platforms have to have a large and deep enough library that is constantly refreshed to keep consumers interested over a long period of time,” the analysts wrote.

But it’s not just about title count. To stand out, OTT services also must have a few “marquee, high-visibility and high production quality shows” to attract and retain subs, the Barclays analysts said, citing as examples Netflix’s “House of Cards” and the “Star Trek” reboot on CBS All Access.

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In its analysis, Barclays cited InstantWatcher.com, JustWatch.com and Somethingtostream.com, which monitor titles on streaming services.

Netflix declined to comment on the Barclays study. In the past, it has disputed the accuracy of third-party estimates about size of its streaming lineup, noting that titles are continuously added and removed the service.

And Netflix has made no secret of the fact that it’s been strategically shifting away from licensing non-exclusive content, toward original series and movies you can’t get anywhere else. The company estimates it will spend $5 billion on content in 2016, rising to more than $6 billion next year, investing about 5% of its cash content budget in original films.

Original movies set to hit Netflix in the second half of 2016 include “War Machine,” a satire starring Brad Pitt, and Christopher Guest’s ensemble comedy “Mascots.” Netflix films for 2017 include actioner “Bright” starring Will Smith and directed by David Ayer — with a $90 million budget — and Bong Joon-ho’s monster flick “Okja”.

It’s also worth noting that Netflix’s output deal for Disney films in the pay-TV window in the U.S. kicks in this fall.

“Our focus has shifted to provide great movies and TV series for our members that are exclusive to Netflix,” chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement last fall regarding the end of the Epix licensing deal.

Of course, both Amazon and Hulu are similarly prepped to write checks to acquire or produce exclusive content, with Amazon Studios in particular showing a growing appetite for original films in recent months.

But the point is that just having a bigger bucket of content doesn’t equate to superior entertainment value — YouTube, after all, has a content library of a gazillion videos, beating the SVOD services by a long shot.

Pictured above: Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

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  1. one box says:

    Netflix is always my favorite. I find so much of content on Netflix that I don’t find on Amazon prime. I use some movie apps like Onebox hd and TeaTv. They are also better than this Amazon Prime. This is my opinion telling from my experience.

  2. Nob says:

    What this article fails to mention is that the majority of programs on Amazon prime have to either be bought, rented or you must subscribe to a third party provider to view them. There is very little content on prime that is included with your membership.with

    • UKSister says:

      Absolutely Correct! Worse not just rented, but the ones you think you’re renting in English, air in Polish, Swedish, Russian & weird as it may sound, I found one in Chinese! Paid for them, THEN discovered I have to read Closed Captions to get my monies worth. How many Amazon Prime users have noticed this? You find a movie. Its description looks good. Then you DISCOVER, that it’s ALL IN SOME ODD FOREIGN LANGUAGE???? Worse, AMAZON NEVER DISCLOSES this info, until you’re well into the initial scenes of a movie. AMAZON ADVERTISES THEY HAVE MORE MOVIES THAN ALL OTHER PROVIDERS, BUT FAILS TO DISCLOSE, 40-50% ARE JUNK OR IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE! Also, checkout ones probably made at home by 1 camera & the acting just sucks. So many by some whackos; “You Tube” seems better in so many respects. I’ve notice this just in IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS. AMAZON PRIME MOVES, ARE A WASTE OF VALUABLE TIME WE SPEND ON THIS EARTH!

  3. george sanders says:

    Let’s suppose I do not like crappy modern films? Where do I go then?

    • f1vefour says:

      Little bit late commenting George but you need to check out “Fandor” if you’re a real movie buff, none of the mindless Hollywood dribble but plenty of wonderful independent stuff.

  4. winter soldier says:

    This is not true. I have both Netflix and Amazon and I barely find anything to watch on Amazon Prime.

  5. Jason Grimm says:

    Why is no one talking about their new add-on subscription channels??

    It’s a great option to be able to get those more expensive licensed content when you prefer not to buy them. Each channel allows a trial which is easily cancelled under, account, add-on subscriptions. I tell Siri, “remind me to cancel, Amazon Prime Add-On subscription, “Comic Con,” 7 days from now.

    I’ve been a very loyal Amazon Prime member for nearly 3 years. You get a ton for being a prime member! You get flexibility and options too. Many people don’t even know it is more then just fast free shipping and video streaming. You get free prime listed ebooks, prime pantry food, prime music, audiobooks option, and they keep buying more properties such as Comixology! I was surprised and happy about that and now my comics are on Amazon too!

    I went from a Comcast cable cutting loyal Netflix subscriber, to Hulu, and now currently comfortably living on Amazon, who just keep getting bigger and better. Even their current and past employees, like apple, have been making great companies!

  6. Shandy says:

    Prime is an excellent service for purchasing almost anything, but if you’re talking about just the movie/episode steaming…I don’t find Prime Video anywhere near Netflix. For me it’s more like a nice additional perk in case it actually has something that Netflix doesn’t. Haven’t needed to buy anything on iTunes in forever, either.

  7. Tv and Movie Fan says:

    Amazon Prime is better than Netflix and Hulu because it is more than just a streaming service. Prime is the best service for the price. Movies, music, free shipping, cloud storage.

  8. meoyskie says:

    “Over the past year, Netflix’s overall catalog has shrunk by 28% over the past year, per the Barclays research note published Thursday.”

    That line needs editing.

  9. Shandy says:

    Fortunately I’ve got Netflix AND Amazon Prime, so I’m pretty much set…Hulu seemed utterly redundant. I watched a hilarious British puppet-animal show called Mongrels on there with the free trial because it was the only service that had it, but that’s pretty much the only thing I remember using it for that aside from a few scattered TV episodes here and there. Ones for which I didn’t need the free trial. So, yeah. Netflix is the main thing for streaming/renting, but Prime is a necessity for my family anyway, so–great to have! And I liked Mozart in the Jungle. :)

    • EricJ says:

      I used to watch Hulu ONLY for its exclusive deal with the Criterion collection of premium highbrow foreign films and classics, and stayed around to watch the “handful” of TV shows–
      Hulu’s Movie section is virtually empty apart from the Criterions, but as they’ve been selling the “Vintage and current TV” angle in their ads, they’ve got a better stocked treasure trove of 70’s and 80’s TV than even Netflix has been able to keep up with.
      For those of us who wish for the days When TV Was TV (and not “Binge-watching season-arcs”), and missed most of it growing up, it’s pretty much become just Netflix and Hulu for me–Putting on a Columbo, Rockford Files or Odd Couple rerun has now replaced anything cable or Amazon’s weird cheap catalogue could offer.

      • Shandy says:

        Oh, I know that collection. :] Good stuff.
        Hmm, that’s kind of appealing…might be fun to browse their show selection one day. Not as if I want to consider subscribing to yet another service, of course. B-| But yeah, I’m only 28 and I honestly much prefer the earlier series & films, for the most part. I love the cable “sub-channels” I now get (Buzzr for classic game shows! Decades & Antenna for classic sitcoms and such! Etc.) Hallmark’s one of my favorite networks…I love Turner Classic Movies…and I miss ME-TV, which for some reason was replaced with a different station on satellite. The sub-channels are largly a fair replacement, but I do miss watching Svengoolie every Saturday night!!
        Netflix+Hulu sounds like at least as good a combination as Netflix+Amazon for entertainment, anyways. I rarely watch Prime Video, but it’s a nice perk in addition to the wonderful two-day shipping on everything. xD

  10. EricJ says:

    In Amazon Prime’s case, it DOESN’T–Ever browse their genre catalogs on a late channel-clicking night?:
    Once you get past the recognizable Sony movies, original shows, and Viacom/PBS exclusives, you find you find yourself in an ocean of $1.98 public domain titles that were cheap and no-obligation enough to show, that once used to linger at the bottom of mom-and-pop VHS-rental shelves. Hundreds and -hundreds- of them. Little Princess, Night of the Living Dead, religious documentaries, obscure 30’s B-movies, lost 50’s TV shows in fuzzy kinescopes, anything you could get in the throwaway DVD bin at K-Mart, you can find on Amazon Prime. Finding the better mainstream content on Prime without having to pay extra VOD for it, that’s a little harder.

    Which isn’t always a bad thing–I like serendipitously searching for old random 30’s and 50’s ephemera–but if all your looking at is catalog numbers, I’d estimate that 3/4 of that “4 times Netflix” is stuff you couldn’t get $5 for today.

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