Saturday, November 3, 2012

Netflix & Hulu Plus Movie & TV Streaming Catalog Statistics

I was looking around for some numbers on the streaming catalogs for Netflix and Hulu. I couldn't find any so I got my hands dirty and extracted it from the data I maintain for I figured I should share this data, thus this blog post.

If this generates enough interest I'll add a page to that is automatically updated each day or week. I guess it would also be interesting to extract this data for Amazon Prime as well. Also, suggestions to improve or add data are welcome using the comments section below or email.

Netflix Hulu Plus
HD Movies4019 (44%)1183 (31%)
Movies added in last 30 days328172
Movies released in 2012161119
TV Shows13642276
TV Seasons28673628
TV Episodes4270360247
HD Episodes19336 (45%)12669 (21%)
TV Seasons added in last 30 days102298
TV Episodes added in last 30 days12712386

Most of the data is not surprising, Netflix has more movies, Hulu has more TV shows. A couple of noteworthy points are that it looks like Netflix is more committed to HD content and that Hulu has a higher percentage of new movies (from 2012) relative to the catalog size.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Added Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 To

A daily updated list of Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies availability and pricing was added to Services included - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Hulu, Hulu Plus and Vudu.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Movie Streaming Subscriptions: Netflix, Amazon Prime & Hulu Plus Compared

While searching the web for comparisons of the popular online subscription services I was repeatedly disappointing by the overly simplistic approach to the variety and quality of titles available for streaming. Most articles will simply quote an obscure estimate of the total number of movies and TV shows on each service. While working on my website,, I decided I have enough resources for a more data-centric comparison.

I decided to focus on three paramaters:
  1. Price
  2. Availability of popular titles
  3. Availability of quality titles
First, I'll explain what I mean by popular and quality titles and why I believe they are relevant factors.  Popular does not necessarily mean new titles, it should be considered as a measure of which movies people would most likely want to watch. I started thinking on how best to gauge the popularity of a movie and decided that the US box office numbers are a reasonable indicator of popularity. I chose US and not world wide numbers because the services are mostly limited to the USA. I used the top 100 movies from IMDB's US Box Office list.

So why not compare the popular movies and be done with it?

Well, I believe that a good subscription service should not only offer me movies that I know I want to watch, it should also expose me to new and different cinematic experiences that I would have missed otherwise. Speaking from personal experience, there were numerous  times when I watched a movie based on recommendation, ignoring my personal taste and was pleasantly surprised.

There are plenty of lists that presume to rate movies based on their quality - IMDB Top 250, Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 and many more. Many will argue that the movies on these lists are hardly the "Best" movies of all time, but I believe most will agree that the majority of movies on those lists are above average quality and probably worth a watch. I decided to go with the top 100 movies from the IMDB, mostly because I have data on each service from my IMDB Top 250 Availability page.

The results are arranged in this tidy chart:

Hulu Plus and Netflix are priced the same. Amazon Prime is almost 20% cheaper, but the subscription is yearly and not monthly like the others. It's worth noting that an Amazon Prime subscription includes other benefits (like free shipping on Amazon items).

Netflix outperforms Amazon and Hulu on both quality and popularity of titles, but the chart clearly shows that all three services are severely lacking, with Netflix, the forerunner, barely scratching 10% of the titles tested. At their current state, I won't be surprised if most people heavily supplement these services with online movie rentals from Amazon Instant Video, iTunes or Vudu.

I also wanted to look at the data from a different angle. Instead of comparing the services and picking out the best choice, I wanted to see how the services complement one another. The following Venn diagram shows the overlap of movies between the services:

As you can see from the diagram, All the titles in Amazon Prime are available on Netflix. So if you plan to subscribe to two of the three services then Netflix and Hulu Plus looks like the best choice.

You probably noticed that a major factor is missing from this comparison - availability of TV shows. I feel that the subject of TV deserves a blog post of its own, so you should consider this comparison as part I, with part II to follow soon.


There are some interesting discussions of my post on Reddit and Hacker News.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How much does it cost to watch the entire IMDB Top 250 movies online?

This question was bugging me ever since I made the IMDB Top 250 availability service on

Well, the short answer is that no amount of money will suffice. 27 movies are not available on any of the services I checked - Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Hulu Plus and Vudu. This was actually quite surprising because these were not some obscure 1920 silent movies - it's Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

So, how much will it cost to watch the 223 movies that are available?

6 movies are available on Hulu for free. There is at least one movie that is only available on Hulu Plus and nowhere else, so we'll need a 1 month subscription costing us $7.99. There are 19 more movies available on Hulu Plus, so if we assume that we don't watch more than one movie a day a single month's subscription will do.

Netflix also has at least one movie that is only available on Netflix. There 29 more movies on Netflix that weren't on Hulu and Hulu Plus, so a single month's subscription will do here as well, adding $7.99 to the bill.

Amazon has 155 more movies with the lowest price (the majority of them are available on iTunes and Vudu for the exact same price). iTunes has 7 more movies with the lowest price and Vudu has 7 more. The real disappointment is Amazon Prime, there are only 10 movies available only on it (out of 22) which didn't justify the $79/year subscription fee.

Adding everything up sums to $666.3 (I double checked, it really is 666 :))

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Amazon search improved to include Amazon Prime results

When viewing search results from Amazon Instant Video on, it is now indicated if the movie or TV show is also available as part of an Amazon Prime subscription.