Face Off: Netflix vs Hulu vs Amazon Prime

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime — these three are the biggest online entertainment broadcasting networks that have been dominating the world of video streaming for a while now. To be able to watch movies and shows on these platforms, the subscribers must pay a subscription fee to use their services. Let us assume that one does not want to sign up on all three, which one would be the best one to pick?


In this article, we shall be comparing each of the services based on their user experience, and the kind of original movies and television series broadcasted by each one of them. 

Amazon Prime Video

Producing its own amazing content, Amazon Prime also streams licensed movies and TV series from other sources. Of the three services, Amazon Prime operates on a hybrid model — one gets access to lots of content in the price of a subscription. In case a user does not want to wait for a particular movie to age in the availability tier while it is running in the theaters, it might be possible to rent it by paying an additional fee (after you start streaming a rented movie, you have 48 hours on a typical basis to finish watching it). 


The Smart TV app of Amazon Prime is clean, has an easy to see the menu bar on the top of the screen with options such as Home, Seach, Originals, TV, Movies, Kids, Video Library, Settings, and Watchlist. They have a static banner ad just below this tab which is then followed by a row of titles to choose from. The Watch Next section is the next in the line followed by a list of originals and various other suggestions. The titles can be added or removed from the Watchlist tab as per the convenience of the viewer.


It is because IMDb — the Internet Movie Database is owned by Amazon, so the viewers can expect absolutely amazing metadata. There are certain movies and series titles wherein a pause during the play brings up the names of the cast members in the current scene under the option of X-Ray. The closed captioning can be adjusted from the movie interface, fast forward, or rewind.


With a combination of both original movies and series along with licensed content up its sleeve, Netflix is one of the most famous platforms around. It can take a very long time for a non-Netflix movie’s theatrical run to make its appearance on the streaming service of Netflix due to the availability on the disc and other reasons.


Word of caution: remember to turn down the volume because once Netflix loads, it will hit you with the signature startup “ba-BONG” sound which can be, well, very sudden and heart attack inducing. Next, Netflix lets your set up various profiles, that can be beautified with images from hundreds of images from the classic Netflix shows and movies, and you must select yours.


Whatever new is being streamed by Netflix, it is promoted in three and a quarter of the home screen. There are numerous titles on the home screen but most of them are the original or the recent popular ones. All the rest of the titles can be found using the search option. Subscribers can take a sigh of relief as unlike the browser version, no trailers automatically start playing. Whenever a title is selected, it brings the description, list of menu items on the left (audio and subtitles, add to my list, etc). 


Found in the same year when Netflix started adding streaming to its business model, Hulu came into existence in 2007. Big media companies such as AOL, ABC, Fox, Disney, Comcast, Facebook, NCB Universal and Time Warner along with other corporations have been involved with Hulu at some point in time. Hulu has produced some of the most compelling original series that went on to become a crowd favorite. Different partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions have let Walt Disney Company a major stake in Hulu. 


Much like Netflix, Hulu asks its users to choose a profile (but they do not have any icons on them) and the navigation is not intuitive. The TV is the default selection and the new and promoted tiles appear upfront. The right side of the screen is covered with artwork and the highlighted title appears on the left side. When you scroll down, a list of seemingly random shows pops up. With TV content being its specialty, Hulu drops one episode at a time. Other menu options include My Stuff, Movies, Kids, Home, Search, Hulu Originals, and user profile settings followed by Blockbuster Movies, etc. The viewers can easily fast forward or rewind, start the movie all over again, go to the next “autoplay” movie, and change the language track or subtitles, look up more recommended titles, or simply go to “details.”


Which of the above mentioned streaming apps is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section.

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