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I don’t quite know how it happened, but I stream all of my media now. Contrast that with just a few years ago, when I was still downloading music, managing DVDs, and making only the occasional visit to Pandora/Songza to find new artists that I might like.

Today, if it isn’t on Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Prime, or YouTube, I won’t be watching and I won’t be listening. I actually prefer it that way, so welcome to the new era where streaming is king The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation Read More .

The one problem with streaming everything is that the monthly costs can add up, which is a real drawback to cutting the cord Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting the cord? We do the math involved with cancelling cable in favor of Internet services. Read More . Maybe you’d prefer to have one or two main services instead of subscribing to every alternative available. That would be the smart thing to do, especially if you’re trying to cut down on monthly expenses How to Slash Your Household Expenses in 7 Easy Steps How to Slash Your Household Expenses in 7 Easy Steps Tired of seeing all of your income go towards bills and expenses? You aren't alone. We show you some of the best ways to slash your household expenses. Read More . But which services should you choose?

There are a host of streaming services to choose from, but today we’re putting the all-encompassing Amazon Prime into battle against Netflix + Spotify.

Original Content

Amazon and Netflix both produce original TV content, so regardless of which one you pick, you’ll be missing out on some quality shows. The question is, which original shows are better?

On the one hand, Amazon has a handful of them and they’re all compelling enough to warrant watching 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More The Man in the High Castle and Bosch are both fun, while Transparent is daring and relevant. But I can’t honestly say that they’re good enough to grab a subscription for. That’s the thing about Amazon Originals: they aren’t bad, but they aren’t great either.

Amazon Prime vs. Netflix and Spotify Combined netflix library selection

On the other hand, Netflix is firmly committed to becoming an original content producer in the same vein as HBO, and has already produced smash hits like Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Daredevil, Stranger Things, and Narcos. Not only that, but the planned originals for 2017 15 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2017 15 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2017 Netflix is now producing its own original content. And some of the new Netflix Originals set to debut in 2017 definitely look like they'll be worth watching. Read More are shaping up quite well with One Day at a Time and Santa Clarita Diet already receiving critical acclaim.

In short, Netflix’s selection of original content is wide and deep enough on its own to be worth the price of admission, whereas Amazon’s original content is merely nice as a bonus.

Comparison of Video Selection

As of this writing, Amazon Prime has over 7,200 shows and movies available to stream compared to Netflix, which has over 4,200 shows and movies. This comparison is based on the U.S. library using data provided by JustWatch.

Not only does Amazon Prime have the larger library — close to double in size — but its selection tends to be more up-to-date. For example, you can watch various movies from the past year or two, including Interstellar, Ex Machina, Spectre, and Room. Netflix is better for niche movies and shows that are no longer running (except for its deal with Disney, which is why Zootopia and Finding Dory can be streamed).

Amazon Prime vs. Netflix and Spotify Combined amazon prime content

While Amazon Prime has exclusives you won’t find on Netflix and vice versa, Amazon Prime has one big advantage: you can grab add-on streaming channels at a discount, including Starz, Showtime, and Comedy Central Stand-Up Plus, and this lets you watch episodes as they’re released.

That being said, one could argue that Netflix has more interesting content out of the box. For example, Netflix is known for its vast collection of documentaries The 12 Best Netflix Documentaries of 2016 The 12 Best Netflix Documentaries of 2016 Hundreds of documentaries are added to Netflix every year. So, to save you the trouble of sorting the wheat from the chaff, here are the best Netflix documentaries of 2016. Read More , many of which have received critical acclaim. It also has a surprisingly large selection of animated shows 10 Animated Shows for Adults to Watch on Netflix 10 Animated Shows for Adults to Watch on Netflix You really should watch these awesome animated shows for adults on Netflix. They're funny, anarchic, and often more thought-provoking than serious dramas. Read More .

In short, Amazon Prime has a larger library that’s more up-to-date, plus the ability to grab add-on channels, whereas Netflix is more densely packed with interesting content.

Comparison of Music Selection

Amazon Prime Music is the forgotten stepchild that’s overshadowed by Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, and most of that is Amazon’s own fault. Not only is Prime Music poorly marketed (a lot of users don’t even know it exists), but it almost feels abandoned by Amazon.

For starters, Prime Music maintains a library of roughly 1 million songs compared to Spotify’s massive selection of 30+ million songs. It’s been this way for years now. Amazon seems to have no intention of increasing the Prime Music library, especially now that it has launched Amazon Music Unlimited Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? Amazon recently unveiled a paid music product called Music Unlimited. How is it different from Prime Music? How much will it cost you? What will you get for your money? Read More , a separate service built on top of Prime Music.

Amazon Prime vs. Netflix and Spotify Combined spotifydiscover

Amazon Prime vs. Netflix and Spotify Combined amazon prime music player web

I used to advocate for giving Prime Music a second chance, but I’ve since given up on it. The selection is too mainstream. If you want to listen to niche music, you’ll only find the occasional single if you’re lucky. Plus the stations are repetitive. Spotify doesn’t have these problems — in fact, Spotify has a bunch of other audio content on top of just music.

But Prime Music does have one advantage: you can upload your own collection. Unfortunately the free option is limited to 250 songs, compared to something like Google Play Music which allows 50,000 songs for free. But you can expand Amazon’s storage to 250,000 for $25-per-year.

In short, Prime Music is great if you only care about mainstream music, and the ability to upload 250 songs for free is nice, but Spotify is flat-out better in every other way.

Other Benefits

Now here is where Amazon really shines.

With Netflix and Spotify, the selection of video and music blows Amazon out of the water and into outer space, but you only get video and music and you have to pay for two subscriptions. Amazon Prime, on the other hand, gives you its video and music for the price of one subscription, plus a whole bunch of other nifty features:

And this is just scratching the surface. What most Prime users don’t realize is that Amazon provides a ton of lesser-known benefits as part of Prime 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More — if free two-day shipping, video streaming, and music streaming weren’t enough to justify the subscription, these benefits should be.

In short, Prime Video and Prime Music are ancillary perks that make it easier to swallow the cost of Prime, which comes with other perks unavailable with Netflix or Spotify.

And the Winner Is…

It all comes down to value and need.

Amazon Prime currently costs either $99-per-year or $11-per-month. You get a respectable amount of video content, a paltry music selection with the ability to upload 250 songs, free two-day shipping, a lot of free ebooks to read, and numerous other side perks. Get Amazon Prime if you absolutely must pinch pennies, can’t give up free two-day shipping, and care more about streaming video than music.

Netflix and Spotify both currently cost $10-per-month. So what’s the trade-off? You pay twice as much for more original/niche content and vastly superior music selection but lose out on the parts that actually make Prime worthwhile. Get Netflix and Spotify if video and music content are your primary concerns, especially if you have no desire to utilize free two-day shipping.

Then again, you don’t have to pay for Spotify. You can access the whole library for free with some feature restrictions Is It Worth Upgrading to Spotify Premium? Is It Worth Upgrading to Spotify Premium? Spotify Free brings you tons of music at no cost, but are the extra features of Spotify Premium worth shelling out for? Let's find out... Read More : no offline playback, shuffle-only mobile playback, reduced audio quality, and a few audio ads every hour.

Personally, I’m currently subscribed to all three, but I only use Amazon Prime for the shipping. Based solely on needs of streaming entertainment content, Netflix + Spotify confidently gets my vote — but if I really had to pick just one of these options, I’d go with Prime for the unrivalled value for money it offers.

Which would you rather use, Amazon Prime or Netflix + Spotify? Do you think it’s even necessary to pick between the two? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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  1. likefunbutnot
    February 24, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I actually hit the 250,000 title upload quota. It's mildly aggravating since Amazon's metadata is wrong, but so is Spotify's and Spotify doesn't handle music any better than Amazon anyway, so Amazon's *cheap* service to provide easy device access via Alexa and other media devices is the clear winner in my opinion.
    I really don't see what Spotify brings to the table at all besides a poor app ecosystem (limited support on STBs and related devices at all) and 30 million songs I have zero interest in hearing.

  2. Mike F
    February 24, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    We signed up for Amazon Prime for the shipping, but were quickly sucked into the free video content and loved it! We also tried out Netflix's free trial, but found that there was nothing on Netflix that we wanted to watch that wasn't also on Amazon, so we dropped it. One other advantage Amazon has over Netflix is that if you're impatient and can't wait for a new, just-out-on-DVD/Blu-Ray movie to come to Prime or Netflix (or due to licensing deals it won't be there at any foreseeable future date), you can rent or buy a digital copy on Amazon, and it's added to your list of movies on Prime. Prime is awesome!