Netflix and Amazon Prime rivalry

By Gabbi Johnson

Gabbi Johnson is a senior and writes for The Talon newspaper. She enjoys to dance, read and write. As well as taking dance classes and performing, she also teaches classes for younger students. Her favorite genres to read are fantasy and fiction.

Posted: June 24, 2014

The way we watch movies is changing; tech companies are wrestling for your dollars

What website or app could be so great that more than one billion hours, the equivalent to more than 114,080 years, is spent on it every single month? Netflix. With such high viewership, it seems as though there would be no competitors, but Amazon is attempting to rise to its level.

Sophomore Anna Anderson currently has both Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts. Her preference is Amazon Prime because, “they have a wider selection [of shows and movies].”

When Netflix began instant online streaming in 2007, it signaled a new era of television. Suddenly, consumers didn’t have to drive to Blockbuster or elsewhere to rent or purchase a copy of a movie to see it outside of theaters.

But now, the competition is catching up as Amazon tries to make its stand in the world of online streaming. Their biggest sellers are generally television series, so deals are constantly being made with television companies.

Amazon Prime users will have access to many previously unavailable HBO shows, including “Six Feet Under,” “True Blood,” “Girls,” “The Newsroom” and other programs and movies starting on 21 May 2014 because of a new deal signed between Amazon and HBO on 23 April 2014.

But HBO’s “Game ofThrones” is not being added to Amazon Prime. Some reports say this will be a disadvantage since “Game of Thrones” is currently one ofHBO’s most intriguing and watched shows.

Anderson was thrilled that new HBO shows are being added.With these additions her loyalty to Amazon Prime remained strong.

Walking through the hall at Minnehaha, Netflix is a common topic of conversation. It is not uncommon for a student’s excuse for neglecting their homework to be, “I was watching Netflix.”

Netflix has seemingly become the face of online streaming. Some think the new deal being struck up between HBO and Amazon Prime will sway Netflix viewers’ stability, while others think nothing will dramatically change.

Currently television programs are the biggest lures for both Netflix and Amazon. “House of Cards,” “The Office,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Arrested Development” and others are some of Netflix’s golden gems, but will this be enough against Amazon’s new deal with HBO? Besides these additions that are soon to come to Amazon Prime, they already stream “Downton Abbey,” “Hannibal,” “24” and “Duck Dynasty.”

Within hours of the announcement of the new partnership between Amazon and HBO, Netflix’s stocks dropped by 3 percent. HBO has a history with Netflix; they have been in competition for years, Netflix has wanted access to HBO’s television programs and movies but HBO has been reluctant to give the rights.

Around the time of the new announcement, Amazon Prime prices were also bumped up $20, going from $79 to $99 per year. Netflix is priced at $7.99 per month for instant streaming only, which costs about $96 per year. Price wise it may not seem like a big toss-up, however, Amazon Prime members also receive free two-day shipping for their products and Kindle lending library access along with the instant streaming service.

A Netflix spokesman had an interesting way to compare Netflix and Amazon’s relationship in a recent Quartz article: As New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivals say, “We push each other to do great work.” Many critics are saying this new alliance will put Netflix down and to the test.

“Time Warner, which owns HBO, has long seen Netflix as a threat to HBO and has steadfastly refused to license even its old shows to the company for streaming,” wrote Star Tribune writer Barbara Ortutay in a recent article.

The billions of hours spent on Netflix may seem daunting, but Amazon is working its way up and testing Netflix. It will not be known until 21 May 2014 if this will sway the loyalty of Netflix users, and by then, it may not even be known if the multiyear plan will be a success.

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