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Netflix vs Amazon Prime: Which one has the better original content?

Amazon announced that it would make available its video streaming service Amazon Prime to Indian audiences starting Wednesday in a bid to challenge rivals Netflix and Hotstar.

tv Updated: Jan 13, 2017 18:40 IST
HT Correspondent
Which is the better destination for original content? We investigate.
Which is the better destination for original content? We investigate.

Amazon announced that it would make available its video streaming service Amazon Prime to Indian audiences starting Wednesday in a bid to challenge rivals Netflix and Hotstar.

Here’s a comparison of the home pages:

Netflix’s home page tailors itself to suit the users’ taste. Here, the content it is displaying is mostly original shows, and drama films. Both services feature their originals prominently on the sites.
Prime, as you can see, is highlighting Indian content more prominently. Films like Fan, Sultan and Kabali will attract Indian viewers.

As with Netflix, it has taken quite a while for Amazon to start streaming in India, which means that several of its original shows have already been pirated in the country notorious for illegally downloading its entertainment.

Online streaming - especially legal online streaming - is still a rather novel concept in India. But bingeing on TV shows is not. The only measure of Prime’s success is the quality of programming it will offer.

So without further ado, let’s pit the powerhouses together: Netflix or Amazon Prime? Who has the better content?

Netflix

1. House of Cards

Netflix’s first self-commissioned original content series House of Cards was released in 2013, and the company has dramatically grown its original content since that time. Netflix is releasing an estimated 126 original series or films in 2016, more than any other single American network or cable channel. Read the review here.

2. The Marvel TV Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) television series are American superhero television shows based on characters that appear in publications by Marvel Comics. Netflix’s Marvel series began in 2015 with Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s Jessica Jones, followed by Marvel’s Luke Cage in 2016. Marvel’s Iron Fist, the crossover mini-series Marvel’s The Defenders and Marvel’s The Punisher will be released in 2017. Read the reviews by clicking on the links.

3. The Crown

The Crown traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 to the present day. It is expected to span 60 episodes over six seasons, the first season depicting events up to 1955, with Claire Foy playing the Queen in the early part of her reign. It is rumoured to be the most expensive show produced by Netflix. Read the review here.

4. Stranger Things

The fan favourite show follows the disappearance of a young boy, and the appearance of a telekinetic girl, who helps his friends in their search, while the boy’s older brother, his mother, and the town police chief start their own investigations.The show is set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, and is a homage to 1980s pop culture, inspired and aesthetically informed by the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, Robert Zemeckis, and George Lucas, among others. Read the review here.

5. Orange is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black, one of Netflix’s most popular shows, premiered on July 11, 2013.The series’ fourth season was released on June 17, 2016. In February 2016, the series was renewed for a fifth, sixth, and seventh season. Read the review here.

6. Comedy

Aside from a variety of drama, Netflix also streams some pretty great comedies. The ones that immediately stand out are Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, Judd Apatow’s Love, Joe Swanberg’s Easy, Tina Fey’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Flaked, starring Will Arnett. Read the reviews by clicking on the hyperlinks.

7. Miscellaneous

Aside from these shows, Netflix’s ever-expanding library also features the hip hop period piece by Baz Luhrmann The Get Down, Charlie Brooker’s cult classic science fiction show Black Mirror, and the true crime documentary series Making a Murderer and many more.

8. Films

Netflix is attracting several great filmmakers like Ava DuVernay with 13th, Werner Herzog with Into the Inferno, Cary Joji Fukunaga with Beasts of no Nation and Christopher Guest with Mascots because of the creative freedom streaming offers. It recently premiered the Barack Obama movie Barry.

Amazon Prime

1. Bosch

Based on the novels by Michael Connelly, Bosch is a Los Angeles-set police procedural noir starring Titus Welliver as the titular detective Bosch. On April 1, 2016, Bosch was renewed for a third season, which will adapt Connelly’s novel The Black Echo and elements of A Darkness More Than Night.

2. The Man in the High Castle

The series is loosely based on the 1962 novel of the same name by American science fiction author Philip K Dick and is set in an alternative history of the world in which the Axis powers won World War II. The United States has been partitioned into three parts: The Japanese puppet state Japanese Pacific States, which comprises the former United States west of the Rocky Mountains; a Nazi puppet state that comprises the eastern half of the former United States; and the Neutral Zone that acts as a buffer between the two.The pilot premiered on January 15, 2015, and was Amazon’s “most-watched since the original series development program began.”

3. Mozart in the Jungle

The series, adapted by Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, was inspired by Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, oboist Blair Tindall’s 2005 memoir of her professional career in New York, playing various high-profile gigs with ensembles including the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of numerous Broadway shows.The series stars Gael García Bernal as Rodrigo, a character based on conductor Gustavo Dudamel,as well as Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, Saffron Burrows, Hannah Dunne, Peter Vack, and Bernadette Peters.

4. Transparent

The show, created by Jill Soloway is the first series produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award and the first show produced by a streaming media service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series.

5. Red Oaks

From acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh and David Gordon Green, this 80’s-set show is about a young student who works as a tennis pro at the prestigious and exclusive Red Oaks Country Club during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of college.

6. Crisis in Six Scenes

The infamous Woody Allen show starring Miley Cyrus that he very vocally regretted doing. It received terrible reviews and won’t return for more episodes.

At least as of now, based on both quality and quantity, it seems like Netflix has the edge. But as environment changes, and content is consumed not in theatres and on TV, Amazon will surely evolve. Especially since it already boasts a more comprehensive library of Indian entertainment. There’s also word that Amazon will censor content, unlike Netflix, which is going to be a problem.

With inputs from Wikipedia

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