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Amazon Prime Video Channels explained
Amazon’s streaming app looks to bring channel surfing in-house
Amazon Prime Video has always been something of an outlier among the many streaming services available to Aussies.
It’s typically been a little cheaper than the competition, and is bundled into Amazon’s existing Prime membership rather than pitched as a direct substitute or rival to dedicated streaming options like Netflix and Disney Plus.
Back in 2020, Amazon expanded the remit of the Prime Video to include direct video-on-demand rentals and purchases through a new Prime Video Store. Then, in 2021, the tech titan introduced another add-on to the service called Amazon Prime Video Channels.
The differences between the core Prime Video subscription, Prime Video Store and Prime Video Channels, so here’s an explainer on how Amazon’s latest addition to the streaming service landscape fits into things.
What are Amazon Prime Video Channels?
Prime Video Channels are an optional add-on for Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service, which is included as standard within the company's Prime Membership.
These channels allow you to bundle additional content from other streaming services into your Amazon Prime Video subscription. Doing so won’t necessarily save you any extra money on top of the usual cost of Prime ($6.99 per month), but it will allow you to access more content within a single app rather than having to juggle multiple accounts across several subscription services.
In practice, Amazon Prime Video Channels are similar to how streaming service subscriptions are handled within Apple’s Apple TV app on iOS and iPadOS. For example, subscribing to the Paramount+ channel allows you top access to Paramount original content like Yellowjackets and Star Trek: Discovery without leaving the Amazon Prime Video app.
How much do Prime Video channels cost?
Amazon’s Prime Video Channels vary in cost. The cheapest Channel is Starzplay, which comes in at $3.99/month. Meanwhile, the most expensive Channels are Paramount+ and AMC+, which command price-points of $8.99/month each.
Thankfully, for the most part, those that are tied to another streaming service (such as Paramount+ or Shudder) tend to match the pricing structure of their standalone counterparts. Subscribing to a secondary streaming service through Amazon Prime Video might not be the best fit for everyone, at least it doesn’t come with a surcharge.
At the time of writing, Amazon Prime Video in Australia offers a total of twelve channels. The full list can be seen below:
|Paramount+||$8.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|MGM||$4.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|Hayu||$6.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|Starzplay||$3.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|AMC+||$8.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|Shudder||$6.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|Docplay||$7.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|AcornTV||$6.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|The Great Courses Signature Collection||$7.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|iWonder||$6.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|OutTV||$3.99 per month||Add 7-day free trial|
|Love Nature||$3.99 per month||–|
Are Prime Video Channels included with Amazon Prime?
While access to Amazon Prime Video Channels is included with an Amazon Prime membership, the Channels themselves are not.
Comparisons to something like Fetch TV or Foxtel's channel packs are apt. Each is an optional add-on to the Amazon Prime Video access included with your Prime Membership that allows you to add additional content to supplement the areas where Amazon’s own streaming library falls short.
However, there is something of a catch here.
While subscribing to Amazon Prime Video Channels doesn’t cost anything extra, those looking to do so will need an active Amazon Prime membership for as long as they wish to stay subscribed.
If you terminate your Prime Video subscription, you will not be able to sign up for any Amazon Prime Video Channels or watch any of the Prime Video content associated with them. For that reason, Amazon Prime Video Channels might not be the best fit for budget-conscious consumer who like to pick up and drop different streaming services from month-to-month.
What Prime Video channels are available?
How much content is included with each Prime Video Channel?
This channel pulls over the entire content library of the Hayu streaming service, which includes reality TV hits like Top Chef, Below Deck and Vanderpump Rules. All up, you’re getting 456 seasons of television for your money here.
The AMC+ channel on Amazon Prime Video Channels includes all the content you’d get from subscribing to Shudder and AcornTV, plus a bunch of additional content produced by the American entertainment company. This includes popular series like The Ride with Norman Reedus, Kin and Firebyte. In total, AMC+ includes 467 movies and 277 TV shows.
The MGM channel on Amazon Prime Video includes 249 movies and six seasons of television. Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films aside, the library here is light on modern films but includes plenty of older blockbusters from A Fistful of Dollars to Australia’s own The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.
Are Prime Video channels worth it?
Since there’s no meaningful difference between subscribing to an Amazon Prime Channel and signing up for its standalone counterpart, the main selling point here has to do with convenience. However, the relative value of that quality is going to vary from person to person.
Having to juggle multiple streaming apps and login credentials can be a hassle, so consolidating your streaming content within the Amazon Prime Video app via Channels can be a quick and easy way to cut down on that.
In some cases, Amazon Prime Video Channels can also make it easier to access certain content on your smart TV of choice. While most TV manufacturers nowadays include support for Amazon Prime Video, app support for more niche services like Hayu or OutTV can be hit or miss by comparison. If that's a problem that you’ve run into in the past with your TV brand of choice, then Amazon Prime Video Channels might be the solution you didn't know you needed.
All the same, those weighing up whether or not Amazon Prime Video Channels are worth it should keep in mind that they'll need to have an active Amazon Prime membership in order to sign up and stick with it for as long as they wish to access any Prime Video Channel content.
If you aren’t already signed up for Amazon Prime Video, or you don’t want to stay subscribed to it in the meantime, then opting to download a standalone streaming app for something like Paramount+ is going to make a bit more sense than keeping everything within the Amazon ecosystem.