Amazon Prime vs Hulu vs Netflix: Which streaming service is better?


Tech for Luddites

Users from all over the world consider which of the three major streaming services – Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Netflix – has most to offer to their viewers, taking popularity, accessibility, on-demand entertainment, and membership benefits into account.

Sarah Hersh, Contributing Writer

Ever since the rise of online video streaming, viewers have begun to turn away from television and resorted to online providers for a more diversified selection of television series, movies, documentaries, and the like.  However, rather than having the issue of finding at least one streaming service, viewers are conflicted between which streaming options to choose out of the endless options of services provided by numerous network companies, mainly Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

Starting as the world’s first online DVDs rental store in 1998, Netflix has gradually gained its title of being the go-to source for online video streaming. Years later, other companies like Hulu and Amazon Prime, among other services, followed Netflix by improving each of their own standards in regards to instant streaming and various other forms of entertainment.  Though these companies made their brands widespread enough to attract more users in their systems, viewers cannot help but compare these service companies by scrutinizing small features, such as membership benefits and long-term offers.

As with the case of Amazon Prime, when considering price, some found this service to be more appropriate compared to other online providers.  Not only do its users receive a large selection of movies, but they also receive two-day shipping for free on any items they  purchase from Amazon, as well as additional discounts.   On the other hand, based solely on the amount of content each site has to offer, Netflix does seem to be the best service considering it has a wide array of films with different genres, ranging from indie to foreign movies.  Currently, Netflix spends approximately $13 billion a year in order to keep up with the new content for their viewers.

“Netflix is always my go-to and I can always find a TV series to watch,” said sophomore Kate Steigman.

Hulu and Amazon do offer current TV episodes from other networks as they air, but Amazon usually charges an additional fee for each episode or film.  Meanwhile, Hulu releases a show the day after one episode has aired in order to keep its viewers updated on their favorite shows.  The downside to this is that viewers have to watch their favorite shows with intermittent commercials unless they choose to go with the more expensive plan of $12 per month.  It is also interesting to note that Amazon adds fairly new episodes to their website, but users must pay around $3 per episode, which often leads to the total cost viewers pay exceeding their initial purchase.

“Hulu is by far the best for keeping up with new episodes of my favorite shows like Jane the Virgin,” said junior Becca Sanders.  

To get the best audio and video, most people turn to Netflix or Amazon Prime.  In addition to offering 1080p streams, both Netflix and Amazon offer 4K Ultra HD resolution and HDR streaming support.  However, Netflix does charge extra for this privilege, bumping the monthly subscription fee to $16, while Amazon provides 4K for free.  In terms of location, Netflix is also offered in many countries, while Hulu is only available to viewers residing in the United States.

All of these services have something different to offer, but, in the end, most viewers can agree that any streaming services that provides a relatively lower price and a wide range of media to offer will ultimately win hearts of younger generations in the 21st century.