What comes to mind when you think of Amazon Prime? Probably shopping, right? After all, that free 2-day shipping is a nice perk. But what many people don’t know, or are just starting to realize, is that the biggest perk of an Amazon Prime membership is the massive library of on-demand TV and movie content it gives you access to. We’re talking, of course, about Amazon Prime Instant Video. Keep reading for our Amazon Prime Video review.
In searching for a favorite television show or movie, you’ll undoubtedly have come across ads or links to Amazon Prime Instant Video. But many online users still know very little about what it is, how much it costs, and what the benefits of having it are.
Through this guide we’ll discuss the key functions and benefits of trying out Amazon Prime Video, as well as the cost, availability of an Amazon Instant free trial, and more. Learn all about it below in our comprehensive Amazon Prime Video review.
What is Amazon Prime Video?
Amazon Prime Video is a streaming service from Amazon that focuses on providing viewers with quality TV shows and movies streamed directly to their devices through their internet connections. You can stream certain shows straight to your computer or smart device, and watch anything in their library of over 40,000 movies and shows.
Everything is on-demand, and commercial free. The service is similar to Netflix, but it offers a different selection of content (which is why many people like to have both services). On top of that, you’ll receive the added features that come with having Amazon Prime in general that we discuss below.
What are the Main Features of Amazon Prime?
When you’re looking for a quality online service, you’re not likely to find one that offers as many great features as Amazon Prime does. Basically, Amazon Prime Instant Video is just one of the many benefits of an Amazon Prime membership. With 2-day delivery, including free shipping and access to their Instant Video content, you’d think those would be enough for the 20,000,000 user base, but that only scratches the surface of everything it has to offer.
- Free 2-day Delivery - when you have an Amazon Prime membership, you get FREE 2-day shipping on millions of items on Amazon.com. This is truly revolutionary to the way people shop, and is one of the key Amazon Prime benefits.
- Amazon Instant Video - as an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get full access to the Amazon Prime Instant Video library. This includes tens of thousands of TV episodes, movies, documentaries, and more - all commercial-free, and on-demand for your convenience.
- Amazon Channels - Prime members have the ability to add Amazon Channels to their existing subscription. This allows you to watch content from channels like HBO, Showtime, Starz and more directly from your Amazon account, on hundreds of different devices.
- Exclusive Discounts - Amazon Prime members enjoy exclusive discounts on tons of Amazon items. In addition, you get early access to special limited-time deals, often allowing you to score the deepest discounts before the general public (and before the item sells out!)
- Tons of Benefits for City Dwellers - Amazon is rolling out tons of awesome services for folks living in certain areas; mostly in big cities at this point. There’s SAME DAY delivery, with even 2-hour delivery offered in some areas. There’s also restaurant delivery, fresh food delivery, and more!
- Unlimited Photo Storage - with Amazon Prime membership, there’s no need to pay for cloud storage for your photos; Amazon gives you unlimited photo storage for free!
- Ad-Free Music Streaming: No more constant Pandora commercials - yes please. On top of unlimited skips and the ability to make your own playlists, this is a great added feature for music lovers everywhere.
- Kindle eBook Rentals: If you’re an eBook reader you’ll love the Kindle Owners Lending Library. No due dates to speak of. The only caveat to renting an eBook is that you can only have one checked out per month - but you can return your finished one for a replacement at any time.
- Amazon Mom: Being a parent is one of the most expensive tasks around today, and likely always will be. Featuring discounts on baby products like diapers and wipes, it can become any parents dream feature!
There’s more benefits and features than these, but they’re the ones that are the biggest and also the most taken advantage of…and you can try them all out with the Amazon Prime free 30-day trial.
What Devices Can Play Amazon Prime Instant Video?
A great thing about Amazon Prime Instant Video is their domination in the field of device support. You can watch freely from your computer, iPhone, iPad, Android or Kindle; they even have support for a whole slew of smart tv’s and Amazon Fire TV and Roku streaming media players.
For all you gamers out there they even have apps you can download on your Xbox 360 or One, PlayStation 3 or 4, as well as the Wii and Wii U Nintendo systems. For a full list of supported devices, you can find them here.
What Shows Does Amazon Prime Video Offer?
Searching for something to watch can end up being something of a chore, especially when you’ve already exhausted your own movie library. Luckily, there’s services like Amazon Prime out there to keep us entertained with movies and shows for… well, indefinitely.
They feature shows from a wide array of channels, such as HBO and PBS to even Nickelodeon and CBS Kids. That means it’s common to find shows like the Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Blues Clues, and Downtown Abbey, all under the same roof. There’s some overlap of content with competing Netflix, but there’s also a ton of stuff that’s unique to Amazon Prime Instant Video - including older HBO shows that are not available anywhere else.
What About Amazon Prime Original Shows?
Another huge Amazon Prime benefit is the selection of Amazon Originals. These are TV shows and movies that are produced in-house by Amazon, and are ONLY available via Amazon Prime Video. To many, these shows alone make the Amazon Prime TV cost worth it!
There are tons of great new Amazon Prime Original Shows, but some highlights include: Bosch, Transparent, The Fashion Fund, The Man in the High Castle, Hand of God, Mozart in the Jungle, Mad Dogs, Catastrophe, Betas, Alpha House, and even their kids series Creative Galaxy - plus a whole lot more. Basically, they’ve got something for everyone, regardless of the age. And, new Amazon Original Shows are added all the time. Again, you can’t watch these shows ANYWHERE else.
Amazon Original Shows have proven to be quite popular among fans, and also among critics. Amazon Originals cleaned up at the Golden Globes this year, and they can also now boast an Emmy-award winning series.
What About Amazon Prime Channels?
A lesser-known feature of Amazon’s impressive online streaming system is Amazon Channels. Basically, this service allows existing Prime members to add on additional channels to their lineup, thereby expanding their streaming selection.
This is great, because it allows you to pay for just the channels you actually want, and cuts down on the clutter and expense of cable. You simply choose a channel, add it to your Prime subscription, and can then watch it via any of the normal ways you’d watch Amazon Prime video - on your computer, mobile device, streaming device, etc. All Amazon Prime Channels are added to your normal Amazon account, so there’s no need to remember extra passwords or anything like that.
Some Amazon Prime Channels that are available include HBO, Showtime, Starz, PBS Kids, Acorn TV, Cinemax, Seeso, A&E Network, AMC and more. There are over 100 channels available. Prices are per-channel, and range from $2.99 to $14.99 per month.
When you sign up for Amazon Prime, you’ll have an opportunity to add additional Amazon Channels to your subscription, if you want.
How Much Does Amazon Prime Video Cost?
Amazon Prime costs $99 per year (or $8.75 per month). You can also purchase Amazon Prime on a month-to-month basis, priced at $10.99 per month, or just get Prime Video for $8.99 per month.
However, unlike it’s competitors, the Amazon Prime Video cost is for far more than just the video service. For that same $99/year, you get Amazon Video, free 2-day shipping on Amazon, unlimited photo storage, free music streaming, exclusive discounts, and a whole lot more. An Amazon Prime Membership is really so much more than a Netflix or Hulu membership, and yet the costs are similar. So, keep that in mind when considering the Amazon Prime TV cost.
You can also try Amazon Prime for free for a full month.
Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix: How Do They Compare?
The main competitor of the Amazon Prime TV service is Netflix. Netflix, as you likely know, is the most popular online streaming service. It offers hundreds of thousands of hours of on-demand content, and functions in pretty much the same way as Amazon Instant Video.
So, how do the two stack up? Take a look:
Netflix vs Amazon Prime: Cost
- Netflix costs $7.99 a month (for non-HD) and $9.99 a month for HD. You’ll most likely want HD, so you’re looking at 10 bucks a month (so $120 a year)
- Amazon Prime costs $99 a year, which works out to $8.25 a month
- Considering all the other Amazon Prime benefits beyond the video streaming, Prime is a clear winner in the price comparison. The only benefit of Netflix is that it’s month-to-month, so you don’t have to pay for a year upfront.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime: Content
- Netflix offers over 4,000 movies and more than 2,000 shows. However, this number is always fluctuating, and it’s actually been going down quite rapidly in recent years. Netflix also offers original series.
- Amazon Prime offers over 18,000 movies and nearly 2,000 shows. Again, this number fluctuates, and was based on a report from early 2016. Amazon also offers original shows not available elsewhere.
- It’s tough to choose a clear winner here. While Amazon Prime Instant Video has much more in general, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the winner, as it really comes down to quality. In reality, both services have a great selection - which leads many people to get both services.
Amazon Prime vs Netflix: Bottom Line
In the end, this is comparing two amazing services that each offer their own pros and cons. Because Amazon Prime offers so much more than just the video library, I’d say Prime offers a better value. However, Netflix has an impressive content library. If you’re just starting out, why not try both? Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime and/or a free trial of Netflix!
Can I Try Amazon Prime Video for Free?
Luckily, you can get a full 30 day Amazon Instant free trial if you sign up for the service today to get a feel for what all the service can offer you, all before you commit to buy. If you end up not wanting to stick with it but forget to cancel, they’ve even been known to refund the cost. That can be pretty helpful in and of itself, because for many people today, $100 can make a big difference.
One last offer is for the students, because if you sign up with a .edu email address, you can utilize the Amazon Student section to get a six month trial. On top of that, the $99 gets cut in half upon completion of the Amazon Instant free trial, so students can get access to most of the benefits for considerably less! Keep in mind that the Student version does not have all the same benefits as the full Amazon Prime membership, but it has most of the key features.
Try Amazon Prime Video Today
The perks are many. The risk is none. Try the Amazon Prime free trial for 30 days today. Then you can decide for yourself if Amazon Prime Instant Video is the right service for your needs.