Netflix vs. Amazon Prime: Which floats your online video streaming boat?

Welcome to the World Heavyweight Online Streaming Championship at Boston College! After tonight’s fight, we will determine who reigns supreme in the world of online video streaming. Let’s meet our competitors!

In the red corner, weighing in at a whopping 27.6 million subscriptions worldwide, straight out of sunny Los Gatos, California, the heavyweight champion of the world….Netttttttttttflixxxxxxx!

And in the blue corner, we have our challenger, attempting to dethrone the current champion, weighing in at a rapidly increasing 5 million subscriptions in the U.S. and hailing from Seattle, Washington….. Amazon Prime!

Who will win this showdown of entertainment industry titans?

A classic showdown: Netflix versus Amazon Prime. As college students who spend a good chunk of a typical day wasting away on the Internet, choosing the right online video streaming provider is an important decision. Who will be responsible for much of your procrastination?

To those who are still exploring their options, looking to change their current ways or are just in the mood to participate in a good debate, here’s everything you need to know about the major league players of online streaming.

The most successful and profitable online streaming cooperation since the Internet age began has been Netflix. It started as a small company out of Los Gatos, California in 1997 and has since expanded its online instant streaming services internationally.

With over 27 million viewers in tow, Netflix has developed itself in a way that appeals to those who like convenience. With one monthly payment of $8 for online streaming or DVD-by-mail ($16 a month for both services), Netflix gives subscribers easy and free access to all of their favorite shows and movies. The monthly fee accounts for all shipping charges and free, unlimited viewings of all videos found on the Netflix website.

The online library is infamous for being a bit sparse in the category of recent or popular movies, but the possibilities are endless for TV shows that fans of “Gossip Girl,” “24” and “Toddlers and Tiaras” alike can indulge in. The ability of shows and movies to load quickly, as well as the smooth transitions between episodes of  TV shows have some consequences if you plan on getting productive work done that day.

A communal watering hole for the easily distracted and a go-to source for procrastinators, Netflix sucks you in and spits you back out a few episodes, and therefore hours, later. However, frequent Netflix users don’t necessarily see this as a negative aspect .

“The only downside to Netflix is that it’s so incredibly awesome that it is taking over my life. I’ve watched two whole seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” in six days. Like two whole seasons. That’s a lot,” said freshman Emily Quaglia.

While Netflix users seem to be content with their decision, the company has reported a 91 percent drop in earnings for the second quarter, as well as a slowing in subscription growth. Could Amazon Prime be the responsible for the missing subscribers?

The new up-and-coming service, Amazon Prime, has recently upped its game to compete with the big dogs, offering members free online streaming of movies and TV shows as of February 2011. The Amazon Prime program launched in 2005, its original aims being to reward frequent Amazon.com shoppers with free shipping benefits.

For a one-time, flat rate of $79 for a one year subscription (approximately $6.60 a month), members receive free 2-day, standard and no-rush shipping on millions of Amazon products. In addition, subscribers get free streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows online, as well as access to the Kindle Lenders’ Library, allowing you to borrow one book per month from the online selections which download straight to your Kindle.

Although the online movie and show selection is a bit limited, you can rent and buy more popular shows directly through Amazon Prime and with the 1-Click option, users can purchase movies, shows and other products with the push of a single button. Amazon.com stores your credit card and shipping information within your account, making it easier and faster to make purchases online.

“I find it to be a very useful tool to watch the occasional movie and shop at the same time. I like that my debit card information is in one place with one solid company instead of two places,” says sophomore Jae Shin. Amazon Prime serves as a great club for those who spend their free time wandering the pages of Amazon.com, as well as the self-proclaimed movie and TV fanatic.

Well, there you have it folks. The facts are all out on the table, and it’s up to you, the thousands of everyday streaming sharks out there, to decide what’s worth the time and money and what’s not. The winner of this battle is still to be determined, but it seems that Netflix shouldn’t get too comfortable in its corner of fame and success. Amazon Prime remains in the ring, and is putting up a good fight.

 

School, major and year: A&S, English 2016
An overactive maker of Spotify playlists, but reads her books with a pencil. Drunken eater of too much cereal. Drinks her coffee black. Prefers Bean Boots over sandals and owns six pairs of the same running shoe. An avid woods wanderer. Does not like reading the news.

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