What is Amazon Prime Video?
Amazon Prime Video is a leading on-demand streaming provider. It brings viewers a wide choice of movies, TV shows, and original programming at a competitive price point. The service offers unlimited viewing of on-demand movies and shows for a monthly fee. Some titles, however, are only available to rent or buy.
Amazon first moved into the instant video space in 2006 as Amazon Unbox. It was rebranded Video on Demand in 2008 and Amazon Instant Video in 2011. Since purchasing pay-TV channel Epix and merging with Amazon’s UK subsidiary, LoveFilm, in 2014, the service has grown to around 50 million subscribers worldwide — a number bettered only by Netflix.
Amazon Prime Video plans and pricing
|Amazon Prime Video|
|Free trial length||30 days|
|Number of TV shows and films||2,133 TV shows, 23,980 movies*|
|Live sports streaming? (Y)||Yes|
|Movie rentals? (Y/N)||Yes|
|Streaming quality||Up to 4K HD|
Amazon Prime Video supported devices
Subscribers can watch Prime Video on any device that supports the service’s app, such as gaming consoles, mobile phones, and smart TVs. Other possibilities include via a browser on a computer or laptop. Prime Video is compatible with the following devices:
- Amazon Echo devices with a screen, such as Echo Show and Echo Spot
- Amazon Fire phones and tablets
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV sticks
- Android phones and tablets
- Apple iOS phones and tablets
- Apple TV
- Changhong, Haier, Hisense, Insignia, JVC, Konka, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Skyworth, Sony, TCL, and Vizio Smart TVs
- Comcast X1, Cox Contour, Dish Network, Nvidia Shield, and Tivo media players, and set-top boxes
- Google Chromecast
- LG, Panasonic Samsung and Sony Blu-ray players
- Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One
- Prime Video VR for Oculus
- Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
What to watch on Amazon Prime Video
Prime Video has a huge video library to satisfy subscribers’ content appetites, from Hollywood movies and popular TV series to original programming. Content categories available to choose from include:
- Action & Adventure
- Children & Family
- Chill Out
- Life & Style
- Military & War
- Science Fiction
Amazon Originals: Series
Prime Video has one of the best line-ups of original programming available in the on-demand streaming market, including its own documentaries and TV series. Amazon Original series include Goliath, starring Billy Bob Thornton as a washed-up lawyer, Hunters, based on the true story of Nazi hunters in the 1970s featuring Al Pacino, and The Man In The High Castle, an action-packed film based on the concept of the Germans winning World War II. Other binge-worthy original shows include David Tennant and Simon Pegg in Good Omens, based on the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett novel, quirky superheroes show The Boys, and Tim Roth playing a British detective who becomes chief of police in a small American town in Tin Star.
Amazon Originals: Movies
The services original movie line-up is smaller but includes Casey Affleck in the gripping Manchester By The Sea, 2017 hit romantic comedy The Big Sick, and South Korean crime thriller The Handmaiden from Park Chan-Wook, director of Oldboy. It makes up for its lack of original movies with a strong line-up of Hollywood hits headlined by the continuation of the Rocky Balboa saga in Creed II, thrilling superhero action in Marvel’s The Avengers, and Henry Cavill and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Fallout.
Prime Video Movies
The Prime Video movie library is vast, but it helps viewers with helpful categories like Box Office Hits — where viewers can head to find films such as Jigsaw, the eighth installment of the Saw series and Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Black. There are plenty of other popular movies available, including horror flick The Cabin In The Woods, John Travolta and Morgan Freeman in detective drama The Poison Rose, and superhero action in Captain America: The First Avenger.
That is in addition to a good selection of binge-worthy TV series such as HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, British period drama Downton Abbey, Hugh Laurie starring in House, epic mafia drama The Sopranos, and gritty Baltimore police wire-tapping thriller The Wire.
Prime Video Sports
Sports fans are also well served by Prime Video, with a choice of shows, movies, and live action. The service excels when it comes to sports-related documentary series. All Or Nothing takes viewers behind the scenes for a season with the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles. And Take Us Home focuses on the exploits of English soccer side Leeds United.
Add On Channels
Subscribers can enhance their viewing options even further with Amazon Prime Video Channels. Cinemax ($9.99/mo.), HBO ($14.99/mo.), Showtime ($10.99/mo.), and Starz ($8.99/mo.) are just a few of the more than 100 additional available channels.
Viewers can also add entertainment choices like CBS All Access ($5.99/mo.), Comedy Central Now ($3.99/mo.), Hallmark Movies Now ($5.99/mo.), Lifetime Movie Club ($3.99/mo), and Sundance Now ($6.99/mo.). And there are a couple of sports add-ons in MLB.TV ($24.99/mo.) and PGA Tour Live ($9.99/mo.).
Amazon Prime Video features
Amazon Prime Video subscribers can take their favorite movies and shows on the go by downloading content on tablets or mobile phones. The amount of storage is not limited by Prime Video — it is dependent on how much space users have on their devices.
The platform enables three simultaneous streams per account, but the same show or movie can only be watched on two separate devices at the same time. However, unlike services such as Netflix, Prime Video does not permit the creation of multiple profiles.
Users can manage the content available to users via the Parental Controls feature, which enables them to implement age restrictions on specific devices that can only be modified with PIN access.
The final cut
Amazon Prime Video has one of the largest movie libraries available in the on-demand video streaming market, a strong range of original programming, and plenty of add-ons. That’s why it made our list of best streaming services in 2020. It also offers high-quality viewing with 4K HD streaming, plus all the additional benefits of an Amazon Prime membership.