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Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime Video: which is better for online streaming?

A promo image for Good Omens, on Amazon Prime TV
(Image credit: Amazon )

Disney Plus, the long-awaited online streaming service from Disney, has finally landed on US shores – as well as Canada and the Netherlands. For those of you able to access the service already, you now face the tough decision of whether to ditch your other online streaming subscriptions or add another to your monthly outgoings.

It's not just Netflix out there anymore, with platforms like Hulu, HBO Max, or Apple TV Plus all fighting for our time, attention and money. You can see some other direct head-on comparisons in our guides to Disney Plus vs Netflix, Apple TV Plus vs Netflix, or Hulu and Disney Plus. But when it comes to Amazon, how does the retail giant-turned-streaming provider fare in the question of Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime Video?

We’ve collected together everything you need to know about Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video, to help you decide which one is right for you – considering what each service offers, how they work and, most importantly, the content they have to offer.

Before you decide, remember that finding the right streaming service for you will be personal, and depend on which TV shows you can’t live without, your budget and whether you can afford to add another subscription alongside your current streaming plans.

Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime: basic overview

Disney Plus has landed for some, but should you subscribe to Amazon Prime instead?

Disney Plus has landed for some, but should you subscribe to Amazon Prime instead? (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video are both online streaming services that offer a wide range of TV shows, movies, cartoons and documentaries. You can stream content, as well as watch it later on a mobile device with offline viewing, which is handy if you’re travelling without an internet connection.

Disney Plus is yet to launch and when it does it’ll have a number of big-name properties under its belt, including Star Wars TV shows, Marvel flicks and every Disney movie you loved as a kid available to stream.

On the other hand, Amazon’s TV streaming service has been around for over a decade and is already one of the top streaming platforms globally – even if it’s lagging behind Netflix. It offers a huge library of content, both new and old, as well as its own original TV series – even a Lord of the Rings TV show! What’s more, Amazon Video also allows you to pay to rent or buy movies and TV shows that aren’t part of the streaming subscription. 

It’s worth mentioning that there are also a few other players in the online streaming rankings these days, including Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go.

Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime: price and availability

(Image credit: Amazon)

Disney Plus has launched in the US, Canada and the Netherlands, with the platform coming to Australia and New Zealand on November 19. Viewers in the UK and wider Europe will then get the service in March 2020 – a painful wait, but at least a date with some certainty.

Disney Plus offers subscriptions for $6.99 (around £5.50 / AU$10) a month or $69.99 (around £55.50 / AU$100) a year. That subscription allows you to stream content to four devices at the same time, with a total of 10 mobile or tablet devices for a single account – and no constraints on how much you stream. You can see more about Disney Plus prices here.

Unlike Netflix, there are no tiered pricing plans with Disney Plus. US viewers, however, can buy a bundle package that includes ESPN+ and Hulu – all for $12.99 a month – or the cheaper option for just the Disney platform, with a seven-day free trial.

An single Amazon Prime membership seems much more expensive at $12.99 per month or $119 per year if you choose to pay annually. With this, you’re able to stream content to two devices at once with different formats (like HD) available. 

But when it comes to Amazon Prime Video, remember that you’ll also have an Amazon Prime membership. This will give you access to all things Prime Video and the Amazon Music streaming service – as well as same-day or one-day shipping, photo storage, access to exclusive deals and more. 

Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime: features and interface

Here’s one of the early released screenshots of the Disney Plus homepage.

Here’s one of the early released screenshots of the Disney Plus homepage. (Image credit: Disney)

What about the Disney Plus interface? As crucial as the actual content is, the way you navigate, find and stream it is a big part of the user experience.

Disney Plus doesn't offer anything too unfamiliar, with a similar layout to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. You can read more about that in our Disney Plus review (from time testing in the Netherlands beta).

There’s a ‘Recommended For You’ stream and another called ‘Continue Watching’, as well as five buttons across the top of the screen for the different channels on offer on Disney Plus, including Star Wars, National Geographic and Marvel. 

Amazon Prime Video has much the same format, recommending content based on your viewing habits and collecting titles together in different genres. Sometimes it’s not as easy as it should be to find recently-released content, but everything about Amazon Prime Video is intuitive enough.

Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime: content

There’ll be a lot of content available on Disney Plus at launch, but will it be able to compete with the sheer amount of what’s on Amazon Prime Video? 

On Disney Plus we can expect many movies, cartoons and TV shows you already know and love. This is going to include all your favorite Disney movies, both old and new, every episode of The Simpsons and every Pixar movie. As well as a big bank of older content, there’s also going to be a large choice of upcoming TV shows and movies courtesy of Disney’s big-budget properties, including Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar.

One of the most highly-anticipated new TV shows is The Mandalorian, the first live-action TV show set in the Star Wars universe. There are also lots of new Marvel live-action TV shows in development, including WandaVision (about the Scarlet Witch and Vision), Hawkeye, and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

A still from upcoming Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian.

A still from upcoming Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian. (Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Disney also owns National Geographic, which means it’ll be a great place to visit for new documentaries about the natural world, providing a big mix of content whatever mood you’re in.

Even if Netflix tends to dominate discussions of the best and biggest TV streaming services, Amazon Prime Video has long had an advantage in the sheer number of titles available – at last count having four times as many movies as Netflix. Of course, that doesn’t mean all of it is worth watching – there are lots of mediocre choices to weed through (which is why we’ve put together lists of the best Amazon Prime movies and best Amazon TV series too). But if you’re after quantity above all else, Amazon Prime Video wins over the rest and has some of the best legacy content ever made, including Lost, Parks and Recreation and The X-Files.

Just because there’s a lot of content available doesn’t mean Amazon isn’t great at investing in new content too. It’s created some fantastic TV shows over the years, including Transparent, The Tick, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys, and Carnival Row, and it’ll also be producing the next season of hit science-fiction show The Expanse – and procured the rights to create a massive TV adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

It’s also home to a lot of shows it didn’t create but has exclusive licenses to stream in many regions, including Mr Robot and the upcoming Star Trek: Picard series.

A still from the new Picard series that’ll be streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

A still from the new Picard series that’ll be streaming on Amazon Prime Video. (Image credit: Amazon / Becca Caddy)

What’s interesting content-wise is that Disney has joined forces with Amazon, which will be streaming some Disney Plus content in regions where it hasn’t launched yet. According to reports, this deal is only in place in Latin America, but it could roll out to other countries soon.

That means that if you’re not in the US, an Amazon Prime subscription could bring you all the benefits of Amazon as well as some of the top new shows from Disney Plus.

Takeaway

It’s difficult to weigh up the pros and cons of Disney Plus in advance of its official launch but it certainly seems like a contender and might be worth switching your Amazon Prime and Netflix subscription for.

However, finding the right streaming service for you all depends on what content you like to watch. So, when it comes to Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime, you’ll have to ask yourself whether there’s any content on Disney Plus that you can’t live without – e.g. Star Wars or Marvel movies. Or, whether there’s Amazon Prime content that’ll keep you coming back again and again, like Mr Robot and The Expanse.

There’s no doubt about it: Disney Plus is going to have a lot of fantastic new content and old favorite legacy content that’ll be hard to beat. However, Amazon has an extensive back catalogue of movies and TV shows too, as well as a solid track record of award-winning originals. Amazon Prime is also a no-brainer if you enjoy any of the other Prime member benefits on Amazon, like super-fast deliveries on products. 

So there is no winner in the Disney Plus vs Amazon Prime head-to-head – just two great streaming services with different types of content on offer.