Amazon Instant Video VS. iTunes: Which Is the Best Place to Buy Digital Movies

People today watch movies on far more devices than just their home televisions. There are several digital media players, such as the iPad or video iPod, that people of all ages and backgrounds use to watch movies while on the go. With this type of lifestyle becoming increasingly popular, more and more people are choosing to purchase digital copies of movies online. However, what is the best place to buy digital movies? Amazon Instant Video or iTunes?

In this post, we compare the video service between Amazon and iTunes and then you’ll know which one is the best.

iTunes Video

Apple’s iTunes is a popular place to buy movies and TV online. The iTunes Store is integrated into all of Apple’s devices and is easy to use. Titles are available in 1080p and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound, which has been described as ‘near blu-ray’ quality. Purchases or rentals can be downloaded at any time or streamed on an Apple TV. iTunes runs several pricing promotions: a 99¢ rental of the week, a $5 movie purchase every weekend, and weekly sales on movie and TV purchases. These are featured on the movie and TV storefronts.

The only downside to buying and renting movies online with iTunes is that titles can only be viewed on Apple devices and PCs with iTunes installed. iTunes is also the only way to buy or rent titles on Apple TV without using AirPlay. Keep this in mind when considering where to start building your movie and TV library.

The iTunes Pricing

The rental fee for a new movie is $4.99 for SD and $5.99 for HD quality. If you want to purchase a movie, it will cost you $14.99 for SD and 19.99 for HD quality. Old movies are renting from $2.99 up to $3.99, and you can buy them for $9.99 and $14.99 respectively.

You can buy a TV show episode for $1.99-$2.99. The price might change depending on the age of the TV series. The price of a whole series may also vary depending on the number of episodes. Rented videos will be available for 30 days from the date of purchase. A 24/48 hours viewing time will be allotted once you started viewing the rented video. All purchased video will be kept on your iTunes account; the purchased video can be downloaded and streamed online.

iTunes Video

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon claimed that their streaming service is far better than Netflix’s because they offer 150,000 stream able videos. 40,000 of these videos are available for instant access and unlimited streaming to their prime subscribers. They also sell content and they allow movies and TV shows rentals. Above all, their widest array of movies and TV shows collection is their edge among the rest.

The standard quality of the video streaming service is 1080p HD video. They also support Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound for you to enjoy clearer video and sound quality. Amazon Instant Video also announced that they will support 4k Videos that were produced by 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, Discovery, Lionsgate and other content that is 4k compatible.

The Amazon Prime Instant Video pricing

The subscription fee for Amazon Prime membership is $99 a year. The subscriber will have access to all content, whether movies or TV shows. There’s also a free trial service for 30 days, but during the trial period you won’t have access to any of its latest content. However, it is not mandatory for you to subscribe to their services, you can simply purchase or rent a particular movie title or TV show for you to be able to watch it. Each individual TV series episode will cost you about $2, and a whole season is roughly $20 to $30.

Device compatibility

You can instantly stream tons of movies and TV shows on a Kindle Fire, HDX, Blu-Ray players, PlayStation 3 and 4, Amazon Fire TV, Wii, Xbox 360, iOS, Wii U, Roku, and so on. Unfortunately, there’s no specialized app for android users. You can also download their content for you to view on your mobile device.


Important Note:

When you buy a Blu-Ray, you own it. It stays inside your house, you can watch it as much as you want, and you won’t have to pay again for access later on. However, if you purchase or rent movies from iTunes or Amazon, you don’t really own them. These videos are DRM protected, you cannot play them freely. For example, you can only play iTunes on Apple devices.

To unlock DRM from iTunes movies or Amazon Instant Video, I would like to recommend DRM Media Converter to you. DRM Media Converter can remove DRM from movies downloaded or purchased from iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Windows Media Center, Zune Marketplace, BBC iPlayer, Xbox Live Store, uTorrent, FrostWire and more. After DRM has been removed, you can play them anywhere anytime.  Free download the trial version below and have a try.

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The Best Store to Buy or Rent Movies & TV Online

Both iTunes and amazon look good. I have used both of them and keep coming back to iTunes. That is primarily due to me owning several Apple devices. I prefer to download movies to avoid any streaming hiccups. I like being able to easily transfer movies to different devices when I travel or want to watch a movie at a friend’s house over AirPlay. When watching on my HDTV I won’t mistake a 1080p iTunes movie for Blu-ray, but the quality is acceptable.

Overall, Amazon Instant Video is a nice solution if you want to stream video to most mainstream devices like PCs, Macs, iOS devices, Kindles, and Rokus (as well as Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3).  However, if you have Apple TV, or want to download video to your Mac, you’ll need to use iTunes instead.

Roger W.

I'm a music lover and my friends know that. I'm not a great musician or a singer but I look for all ways to enjoy music. Apple Music and Spotify are my favorite.