Video streaming, whether it be movies or television shows, has dominated the way we entertain ourselves. With access to our favourite programs and movies from the comfort of our homes and anywhere that our smart devices can travel with us, the quest for the best and most capable application to stream video entertainment has made leaps and bounds in the entertainment market.
Netflix vs. Amazon
Two of the largest competitors for global video domination have been Netflix and Amazon. Both of these are available on multiple platforms, including PC, gaming systems, smart devices, and more. Both require a subscription service that gives access to content for streaming; however, Amazon Prime Video is now available in more countries than Netflix. Prime Video, based in Seattle, has announced that it will be expanding to over 200 counties, while Netflix has services available in only 130. Neither company has service available in China.
When it comes to pricing, Amazon tends to offer better international prices than Netflix. Amazon has a history and reputation of lowballing prices that have driven many of its competitors out of business. Even though its subscription price doubles after the trial period is over, the average is still roughly $1 less per month than Netflix. Where Netflix has the advantage over Amazon, however, is in their programming.
Netflix offers hundreds of original series and movies that have won awards and been internationally acclaimed. They were also the first to offer American audiences international programming. Although Amazon Prime Video definitely beats Netflix in the sheer number of streaming options available, with more than 18,000 movies and 2,000 television shows compared to 11,000 and 5,300 with Netflix, original content is key with Netflix. Some of the most impressive titles to come from Netflix so far have been Orange Is the New Black and House Of Cards. Some other shows to note are Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Narcos, The OA, Stranger Things, and The Crown. While Amazon has had some success with a few of their original series, such as Hand of God, The Man In The High Castle, and Transparent, the lineup for 2017 is favourable to Netflix.
Amazon Video Prime and Netflix are both going to have some stiff competition coming up in 2017 with technology giant Apple entering the war of global video streaming services. Apple has currently begun developing its own original content, beginning with plans to purchase James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment. They plan to turn the popular Late Late Show segment into a full-length, 16-episode series that will stream exclusively for people who subscribe to Apple Music. This streaming service is Apple’s equivalent to the popular app Spotify, a monthly subscription service that allows you to download and save music, stream content, and listen to playlists and radio, instead of purchasing singles or albums individually. This announcement from Apple came shortly after they announced their very first TV series that will debut on the same app — a reality show called Planet of the Apps.
Although Apple is only in the beginning stages of developing original content, and these shows are scripted as reality TV and not the in-depth productions that viewers see from Netflix and Amazon, the competitors should be leery of what Apple is capable of in the future. Apple Music already has half the subscribers Spotify does, and with exclusive artists such as Chance the Rapper and over $237 billion in cash to work with, the sky’s the limit in terms of where Apple could go next. The company has currently applied for patents that involve “object tracking in a 3-dimensional environment” and “reflector-based depth mapping of a scene.” These technologies working together could turn your home into a 3D digital space that can be controlled by body movements and holographic images of objects. That’s taking the concept of having a ‘smart home’ to an entirely new level, and could very well become a reality in the future.
Who Will Dominate?
For now, though, it seems that the immediate future of Apple is in streaming more content to your devices to keep you glued to your phones. Subscription services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple Music, and others are taking over the marketplace and making movie rentals and cable obsolete. Eventually, we will start to see some of these giant companies become obsolete as well as they begin to compete more and more to see who can come out with the most movies, best content, fastest streaming, and newest technology. So far, Netflix is still leading the pack, but Amazon Prime is right on its heels, and Apple has shown up to wage war as well.