Amazon Prime Video: Channels, Packages, Pricing, and more

Boasting an expansive content library and a robust selection of original programming, Amazon Prime Video stakes its claim as one of the top streaming services. As highlighted in our previous Prime Video review, it even made it to our list of 2020’s best streaming services. But before you decide to commit to a subscription, you’ll want to know exactly what you can get with Prime Video.

What kinds of packages are available, and what’s the pricing like? More importantly, can you add other Amazon prime channels to your subscription? This post gives you a full breakdown of the channels, packages, and pricing info for Amazon Prime Video.

How does Amazon Prime Video work?

Amazon Prime Video is an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service that gives you access to video-on-demand (VOD) content with a monthly or annual subscription. With this subscription, you get to watch thousands of titles at no additional cost from any of the compatible devices.

Besides the free Prime Video titles, Amazon also gives you the option to buy or rent select titles to watch on Prime Video. And you can even add 100+ premium channels to your subscription for even more content.

How much does Amazon Prime Video cost?

While Amazon Prime Video costs nothing for Prime members, non-members can also get it as a standalone service. This standalone subscription for non-members will give you access to Prime Video content and channels, but none of the other shopping perks that come with an Amazon Prime membership.

 Amazon Prime membershipPrime Video standalonePrime Student
Monthly price$12.99$8.99$6.49
Annual price$119N/A$59
Number of channels100+100+100+
Popular channelsCBS All Access, HBO,  SHOWTIMECBS All Access, HBO,  SHOWTIMECBS All Access, HBO,  SHOWTIME

What types of channels does Amazon Prime Video offer?

Amazon Prime Video has a wide selection of channels from third-party providers, some of which even offer live TV programming in addition to on-demand content. And they typically set you back anywhere between $2.99/mo. and $14.99/mo. on top of your Prime Video subscription cost.

These Prime Video channels provide you with the perfect solution to explore more content based on your specific interests because you get to choose from a wide range of categories. Besides entertainment and kids and family programming, you also get sports and outdoor channels, as well as health and wellness content.

Here’s a detailed look at some of the top channels on Amazon Prime Video:

Paramount+

You might be familiar with Paramount+ by its old name, CBS All Access. Though it rebranded, this channel still gives you access to an extensive selection of popular and iconic TV shows, including Magnum PI, NCIS, Star Trek, and The Legend of Korra. It also comes with popular movie titles such as Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Grease 2, Sabrina, The Baby-Sitters Club, and The Firm. 

Paramount+ has also been home to major cinematic releases just weeks after they hit the theaters. The platform will make films like A Quiet Place Part II and Mission: Impossible 7 available between 35 to 45 days after they premiere on the big screen, so you won’t have to wait long to watch at home.

Besides this lineup of on-demand content, the channel also brings you live news and sports programming. So you get to watch news updates through CBS Evening News and Latest Headlines as well as live broadcasts from sports events like the National Women’s Soccer League. Paramount+ will also have access to some National Football League games, as well as the NCAA March Madness tournament for men’s and women’s college basketball.You can get both the ad-free and ad-supported versions of the channel on Amazon Prime Video. While Paramount+ Essentials costs $4.99/mo. And doesn’t include live channels or sports, the commercial-free package will set you back $9.99/mo.

CuriosityStream

For curious learners, Amazon Prime Video lets you add the CuriosityStream channel to your subscription for an additional $2.99/mo. This channel provides hundreds of original and exclusive documentaries on a wide range of topics, including civilization, crime, history, nature, science, and technology.

Some of the most popular programs on the channel right now include Dangerous Borders, Hidden Killers, Secrets of the Solar System, The Story of Maths, and Today in Africa. And you can even find documentaries featuring big names like David Attenborough, Nick Offerman, and Richard Hammond.

GaiamTV

Amazon Prime Video offers channels like GaiamTV to help you achieve your fitness goals for an additional $6.99/mo. Through this channel, you can get step-by-step workout videos and yoga training that address specific concerns and health goals.

For instance, the channel offers yoga videos for people with limited mobility and exercises to relieve body aches. And you also get workout videos to build your strength, tone your body, and more.

HBO

You can also get premium channels like HBO with your Amazon Prime Video subscription. This gives you ad-free access to hit TV series and movies across multiple genres as well as critically-acclaimed original HBO programming. Some of the most popular titles on this channel include Band of Brothers, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Wire, True Blood, and Westworld.

Plus, you also get iconic movie titles such as Home Alone 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Hangover, and The Little Rascals. HBO costs an additional $14.99/mo. on top of your Prime Video subscription.

PBS Kids

For an extra $4.99/mo., PBS Kids offers a rich lineup of family-friendly movies and shows. This includes animated shows for young kids such as Dinosaur Train, Hero Elementary, Odd Squad, and Zooboomafoo. If you’re looking for more iconic titles, PBS Kids doesn’t disappoint either with classics like Arthur, Caillou, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and The Berenstain Bears.

SHOWTIME

If you can’t get enough of addictive SHOWTIME series like Billions, Chi, Ray Donovan, and Shameless, you could add the channel to your Prime Video subscription. For an additional $10.99/mo., SHOWTIME gives you ad-free access to hit originals and popular TV series as well as iconic and recently-released movies. So you can watch titles like 16 Shots, Dawn of the Dead, Hustlers, Mile 22, and more.

SPORT NOW

Sports fans can get the SPORT NOW channel for an additional $2.99/mo. With this channel, you can tune into quality sports programming such as popular TV shows and documentaries across various disciplines. This includes programming like Courtside, Sports Confidential, The Football Review, The Immortals, and Total Combat Presents ONE Championship.

STARZ

STARZ is another premium channel you can add to your Amazon Prime Video subscription. The channel costs $8.99/mo. and comes with live and on-demand content in a wide range of categories. The on-demand content lineup includes popular titles like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Coraline, Napoleon Dynamite, Scarface, Venom, and Zombieland: Double Tap.

But the best part about this channel is its lineup of critically-acclaimed original content. This includes titles like American Gods, Hightown, Liberty City, Magic City, Outlander, and Wrong Man.

Tastemade+

Foodies and home cooks alike will love the Tastemade+ channel on Amazon Prime Video. Available for just $2.99/mo., this channel gives you access to intriguing and informative food-related programming that will show you how to cook or help you discover the stories behind popular cuisines and dishes. So you can binge on shows like All the Pizza, Day of Gluttony, Nadiya’s Family Favorites, Quest for the Fest, and The Tale of Kitto Katto.

Are there commercials on Amazon Prime Video or is it ad-free?

Amazon Prime Video isn’t an ad-free service. However, the pre-roll ads, aka the commercials that play before the start of a video, only run occasionally and typically advertise other Prime Video titles. Plus, you can skip them as well, so it doesn’t have too much of a negative impact on your streaming experience.

While you don’t have the option to get an ad-free version of Amazon Prime Video, some of the third-party channels it offers will have premium streaming capabilities. For instance, channels like HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ will offer an ad-free experience. And CBS All Access will give you an option to either get a Limited Commercials or a Commercial Free plan. So if you don’t like ad disruptions, you could also add these channels to your Amazon Prime Video subscription.

Can I watch live sports on Amazon Prime Video?

While it is not a primary selling point of the platform, Amazon Prime Video has increasingly started to expand its offering for live sports. Earlier this year, Amazon came to an agreement to broadcast some WNBA games. Those games include the Commissioner’s Cup, an in-season tournament that the league is hosting.

In addition to WNBA games, Amazon Prime Video offers the ability to subscribe to some premium sports channels that provide access to live sporting events. This includes NBA League Pass, which includes full access to every game of your favorite NBA team or every game in the entire league, depending on your package.

Likewise, you can subscribe to MLB.TV through Amazon Prime Video. This gives you full access to all the regular season games of your favorite MLB team. Additionally, Amazon has the broadcast rights to some regular-season games that you can watch without a subscription.

Paramount+, a channel that you can subscribe to through Amazon Prime Video, also includes access to some live sports content. This includes soccer, some NFL games, and much of the  NCAA March Madness tournament for men’s and women’s college basketball.

What feature sets Amazon Prime Video apart?

One of the best features of Amazon Prime Video is X-Ray. This allows you to see who is on screen simply by pausing. Amazon’s X-Ray technology will identify the actors on screen and allow you to explore other films and shows that they have been in. You can also access biographies, trivia, and bonus video content, all powered by IMDb. It’s a handy feature that makes it easy to see who is involved in a show without requiring you to look away from the screen or get out your phone.

What shows are Amazon Originals?

Amazon has a surprisingly solid list of original programing that is regularly growing. Popular programming includes the series The Man in the High Castle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and The Boys. Amazon has also produced a number of original films that have gained attention and recognition. Films like The Tomorrow War, Coming 2 America, and Jolt are all Amazon originals. While the platform is not as well known for its original content as Netflix, it does have a growing library of content available and is likely to continue to expand those offerings over time.

What else do I need to know about Amazon Prime Video?

You might have noticed that most of the third-party channels on Amazon Prime Video cost the same as getting them as standalone services. So you might wonder why you should get these channels through Amazon Prime Video if you can’t save some money. Adding these channels to your Prime Video subscription makes it easier to keep all your streaming services in one place so you can easily manage and access them.

In addition, although Amazon Prime Video works on most popular devices, not all of them will provide the same experience. For an even more seamless experience, consider using your subscription with Amazon’s range of streaming media players such as the Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV Cube. These devices not only provide excellent streaming quality, but they also make it easier to manage all your Amazon subscriptions while putting the company’s services front and center.

Should you cut the cord for Amazon Prime Video?

Amazon Prime Video provides an impressive selection of third-party channels besides its lineup of on-demand videos. But although some of these channels provide a fair bit of live programming such as news and shows, they don’t exactly have a lot of sports broadcasts, though the offering there is expanding. Still, sports fans might be unable to catch their favorite team live and in action through these Prime Video channels.

In that way, Amazon Prime Video and its host of channels can’t replace cable for sports fans the way that other services like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV do. For those who don’t need sports programming, it might be worth cutting the cord for Amazon Prime Video, especially if you add channels that offer live content such as CBS All Access and STARZ.