Amazon Prime Video Is The Netflix You Used To Know

Netflix isn't what it used to be, at least if you're located in the US. Sure, you could order DVDs and probably get just about anything you want, but that seems downright archaic and slow and you may not even own a DVD player at this point, never mind watching stuff on mobile. Netflix is rolling out a ton of original content and that's great, but the licensed content library is more or less dwindling in equal measure. What happened to all the great movies and TV shows? They're chilling on Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime Video long languished behind the relatively burdensome annual Prime membership cost. The company removed that limitation in the recent past, though, introducing an $8.99/month rate if you'd rather subscribe to Prime Video on a monthly, rather than yearly, basis. Many people who avoided Prime Video because of the large initial cost have now taken interest in it, and for good reason.

Amazon Prime Video, in many ways, is similar to Netflix: you can install the app on many platforms and browse through streaming video content. It trumps Netflix in two big ways, though, and neither are insignificant.

First things first, you can find far more premium content streaming on Amazon Prime Video than on Netflix. I recently decided to binge watch The Sopranos...and while it is available in its entirety on Prime Video, it's not available to stream on Netflix. Feel like watching VEEP? Same deal, you can stream it on Prime Video but not Netflix. That's just a small example, of course.

How about Suits? Amazon nabbed that as an exclusive last year, at least in the US (and since Netflix banned VPNs, that's a big deal for some). Other shows Amazon Prime Video allows you to stream that Netflix doesn't includes the notable The Wire, Downton Abbey, Band of Brothers, Boardwalk Empire, Vikings, The Pacific, True Blood, Orphan Black, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Newsroom, Doctor Who, Mr. Selfridge, The Americans, Mr. Robot, and tons more. But you get the point.

The perks don't stop there, though. If there's something you really want to watch that's not available to stream, you have one option on Netflix: get the DVD. With Amazon Prime, though, you can just pay for a digital copy or rent a digital copy, and then proceed to stream it immediately on whatever device you'd like.

Yes, you have to pay for it, but DVD rentals from Netflix aren't free, either, so you'd have to rent multiple DVDs every month to make it more financially feasible. At the same time, you'd have to rip them to a video file to play them on mobile, and that kind of format shifting is a gray area legally, not to mention time consuming and annoying.

None of this is to pick on Netflix or to say it's not a great service, because it is. It's just that Netflix is increasingly becoming about Netflix's own shows, and so those pining for the Netflix of old — the one that isn't packed with garbage content and little else — need to look elsewhere. If you've never used Prime Video, sign up for a trial and give it a go. It may end up being exactly what you're looking for.