Netflix vs. Amazon Could Be The Cool New Tech Rivalry

Netflix vs. Amazon Possibly The New Microsoft vs. Apple

It feels like forever since we've had a good old-fashioned tech rivalry. The "I'm a Mac" commercials pitting cool Apple guy against dorky Microsoft man stopped airing in 2010.

Could Amazon vs. Netflix be the next feud to inspire us? That's the conclusion we came to after reading Brian Stelter's piece in the New York Times Tuesday. Stelter points out that Netflix and Amazon's streaming service Amazon Prime are both ramping up the creation of original content to further drive people away from their TVs and the TV networks.

Netflix was the first to produce original content with the Kevin Spacey drama "House Of Cards," now the site's most-watched show. Amazon is following suit and is reportedly producing 11 original shows for Prime.

Netflix currently has 33 million customers across the world. Amazon is less open about their numbers, but as of February 2012 there were between 3 and 5 million Amazon Prime subscribers.

Amazon clearly doesn't have Netflix's numbers, but Amazon Prime (like Hulu Plus) has current television shows (you'll have to pay extra to view them). Without the new TV shows, Amazon Prime is a better value. Unlimited Netflix streaming costs $7.99 a month. Amazon Prime costs $79 a year, which comes out to $6.58 a month and includes free two-day shipping on most Amazon items.

Both services have an edge over tradtional networks when it comes to truly knowing their viewers. While TV networks have always tried to feed popular tastes through market research and Nielsen data, Netflix and Amazon eclipse their capabilities by tapping into massive piles of information on customers. Netflix keeps track of what you watch, when you watch it, when you pause, what you search, and has sorted its movies and films into seemingly endless categories.

Netflix has an intense algorithm to figure out exactly what its customers like, and "House Of Cards" was written specifically based on Netflix's user data. Clearly this strategy worked out in Netflix's favor and viewers, too. But what's going to happen when every new show is based on what people already like?

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