Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video — best streaming service for South Africans

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer access to thousands of movies and TV shows in South Africa.

Amazon’s local catalogue has more individual titles overall, with a greater focus on movies and at a cheaper monthly price than Netflix.

While Netflix is more expensive and has fewer movies, it features a larger selection of TV shows.

In South Africa, Netflix offers four plans designed for users with different requirements and budgets, ranging from R49 to R169 per month.

Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, is available at $5.99 (R88, excluding transaction and currency conversion fees).

If you can only afford to spend your hard-earned money on either Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, we’ve compared them to help you decide which is best suited to your needs.

Both services offer enormous libraries of movies and TV shows.

According to JustWatch figures from 2 August 2021, Netflix had a total of 5,526 titles, including 3,557 movies and 1,969 TV shows.

Prime Video’s library was almost double that size at 7,864, comprising 6,798 movies and 1,066 TV shows.

While Amazon is the better option for the sheer quantity of titles, it gets more complicated when considering the type and popularity of the content on offer.

For example, Netflix has the upper hand when it comes to the availability of popular original series.

According to the Parrot Analytics’ Global TV Demand Report for 2020, Netflix Originals accounted for 50.2% of the most in-demand TV shows in the world in the first quarter of 2021, while Amazon Prime Video held a 12.2% share.

You can get a good idea of which service offers content more suited to your taste on JustWatch.com.

Amazon Prime Video’s single plan can stream up to UHD/4K in selected titles, while others are available in full HD.

Each of Netflix’s plans offers different maximum streaming qualities.

Its Standard plan peaks at full HD (1080p), and the top-end Premium plan can stream up to 4K resolution in supported titles.

At the time of writing, JustWatch showed the Netflix’s South African library had 1,477 titles available in UHD quality, while Amazon Prime Video had only 267.

Another important factor to consider is how many devices you can use with the services.

Netflix’s allows you to sign in from an unlimited number of devices on a single account, but each plan limits the number of devices on which you can stream simultaneously.

On the Mobile and Basic plans, you can only stream on one device at a time, Standard allows for two at any given time, and Premium permits four.

Prime Video also does not limit the number of devices you can link to an account.

It differs slightly from Netflix in terms of simultaneous streams, with up to three able to use an account simultaneously, but only two of these can stream the same content at the same time.

The table below compares the features and pricing of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video
Netflix Standard Netflix Premium Amazon Prime Video
Maximum quality 1,080p 2,160p 2,160p
Supported devices TV, laptop, smartphone, tablet TV, laptop, smartphone, tablet TV, laptop, smartphone, tablet
Streaming devices Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Downloading devices 2 4 2
Simultaneous streams 2 4 3
Library size 5,526 titles 5,526 titles 7,864 titles
Recommended download speed for maximum quality 5Mbps 25Mbps 18Mbps
Price R139 R169 $5.99 (R88)

Now read: Expect Netflix price increases

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Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video — best streaming service for South Africans