Netflix vs Lovefilm

201305133_160566-CapturFilesI can’t remember the last time that I bought a DVD having moved over to streaming a while ago so I thought I would take a look at the two biggest services in the UK to compare their content. I decided not to look at streaming quality, price or any factor other than catalogue.

I order to be a little bit objective I decided to look for the top films of 2010 and 2011 as chosen by Total Film Magazine. The results are shown in the table below.

As you can see, in this very small sample, there was no overlap whatsoever, i.e. there was no item that was on both services. This probably reflects the content deals that the two have signed. Unfortunately it also means that if you want the widest coverage you need to subscribe to both.

The other thing that is clear is that with LoveFilm you will have access to more recent content while Netflix will serve you better for classics. Netflix also seems to be better served for UK TV series.

One interesting thing I have noticed with Netflix is that the content changes. So I was re-watching Coupling but found after a while that it was removed for streaming with no warning or reason. So if you are relying on a service as a replacement for your DVDs you may find that problematic.

Netflix have also started creating their own content and House of Cards, with Kevin Spacey, has been excellent but I don’t see this as a primary reason for subscribing to these services when there is such great quality content being produced by the terrestrial channels.

So what to do? Well right now I would say that it is a difficult choice as there is no real winner and, as I pointed out, to get the widest coverage you need to subscribe to both. I would say that if you want films then go for Lovefilm or TV then choose Netflix.

Both are fine if you want access to more content than the terrestrial channels offer but don’t want to fork out an arm and a leg for Sky but you are still going to be disappointed when searching for something particular.

Title Netflix Lovefilm
Human Planet
The Tree of Life
Black Swan
Blue Valentine
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The Social Network
The Town
Toy Story 3
The Kids Are All Right
Malcolm in the Middle
Doctor Who
The Godfather
Annie Hall

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