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Amazon Prime Video Review
Amazon’s huge library and premium Original content make it one of the best streaming services
Amazon Prime Video has become one of the best streaming platforms available, period. It has more movies than Netflix, a growing list of Original content, and many existing Amazon Prime members will get the service for free. (And for others, it’s still affordable.)
With big investments in Amazon Original shows, like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, the service shows that it’s betting big on the future of streaming.
And if you're an NFL fan, you'll want Amazon Prime Video for Thursday Night Football because it's now the only place you can watch the TNF game.
While Prime may not be the most essential streaming service, we think it’s a worthy investment for most viewers. Read on to learn more about Amazon Prime Video’s pricing, content, and user interface.
Well, it’s actually the other way around. Signing up for Prime Video doesn’t give you Amazon Prime. But, if you already have an Amazon Prime subscription, you won’t be charged an additional monthly fee for Prime Video. It’s totally free.
How much does Prime Video on Amazon cost?
Amazon Prime Video costs $8.99 a month when you sign up for the service on its own. But many people will already be eligible through an Amazon Prime membership, or will opt to sign up for one for an additional $6.99 a month.
Here’s a quick price breakdown of the two options for getting Amazon Prime Video.
Data as of 12/15/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
When you choose to pay for a whole year upfront, an Amazon Prime membership is actually just about $2.58 more per month than a standalone Prime Video membership. That $2.58 gets you a whole bunch of extra perks, like free same-day, one-day, and two-day shipping on your Amazon orders.
Image source: screenshot from Amazon.com
But we’re not here to sell you on Amazon Prime—the company does enough of its own advertising. We think that Prime Video is a good enough service on its own to warrant paying $9 a month on its own.
How does Amazon Prime Video compare to Netflix, Disney+, and others?
Amazon Prime Video’s price is in the middle of the pack when you look at other popular streaming services (not including free streaming services). We’ve got this nifty chart to help you see the comparison.
Show and movie highlights
|Amazon Prime Video||$8.99–$14.99||Yellowstone, The Boys, The Wheel of Time||View Plan|
|Netflix||$6.99–$19.99†||Stranger Things, Ozark, Squid Games||View Plans|
|HBO Max||$9.99–$15.99||Barry, House of the Dragon, tons of new movies||View Plans|
|Hulu||$7.99–$14.99||Atlanta, Fargo, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia||View Plans|
|Disney+||$7.99–$10.99||Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and tons of kids’ content||View Plans|
|Paramount+||$4.99-9.99||Survivor, Blue Bloods, Star Trek||View Plan|
In terms of the content available, Amazon does pretty darn good when compared to other streaming services. Prime Video has almost 7,000 movies available, more than any of its competitors.1 But Netflix still wins the gold medal for most streaming shows (Amazon Prime Video comes in third).
What movies and shows are on Amazon Prime Video?
Amazon Prime Video has more hours of content than you could ever watch (go ahead, try, we dare you). We’re going to break it all down into three broad categories: movies, TV shows, and Original content.
Amazon Prime movies
Amazon prime really shines in the movies category. While the offerings are always rotating, Amazon Prime Video currently has popular movies like:
- Raging Bull
- The Terminator
- Office Space
Amazon Prime TV shows
In general, Amazon’s movie selection is geared towards adult audiences, rather than kids. And so are many of its TV shows. Here’s a partial list of shows that are available on Amazon (but not actually made by Amazon Studios).
- The Americans
- Downton Abbey
Amazon Prime Original content
While Amazon Prime Video began by mostly offering content made elsewhere, it’s now a huge producer of movies and television shows. In fact, Amazon has bet big and reportedly spent close to $1 billion to produce its new Lord of the Rings series!
Here’s a peek at some of Prime Video’s most popular Original shows and movies:
- Outer Range
- Manchester by the Sea
- The Report
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- The Big Sick
- The Tomorrow War
- One Night in Miami
- Jack Ryan
Adding premium channels
If Amazon Prime Video’s huge library of content isn’t doing it for you, maybe it’s time to throw a little sprinkle of Outlander or spice of live NBA games. You can add “Prime Video Channels'' to your subscription, like STARZ, NBA League Pass, and Paramount+. It’s kind of like having multiple streaming services in one.
This chart breaks down the prices of some of these original channels.
While these channels aren’t very cheap, they do add a lot for those who are missing live sports, documentaries, kids’ programming, and other special interest content. Plus, many channels are available for a free, seven-day trial for Amazon Prime members.
How does Amazon Prime Video’s interface work?
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, which means it should have an incredible, intuitive, and highly usable website, right? *Ahem* Right?
Well, the truth is, Amazon Prime Video’s user interface is probably the worst part about the service. It’s a bit overcrowded and messy, in no small part because Amazon insists on linking it with their larger marketplace.
Just take a look at this cluttered header bar.
Now compare that to Netflix’s simple header bar.
Simply put, Amazon Prime Video has too much going on. This clutter is not helped by the fact that Amazon puts all of its video content into the same user interface, including the content that is not included in Prime Video.
This means that you’ll often see movies and shows that you have to rent or buy in order to view. Imagine getting a pop up window while you’re on Netflix, asking you to pay $3.99 to rent the movie you want to watch. Yeah, it’s that bad.
To be fair, Amazon Prime Video’s interface gets a little better when you actually start going into the menus to browse or search for content. There are helpful categories and genres to choose from, and some of the top shows are highlighted.
The site has also added a useful blue flag that denotes what content is available with a Prime membership (seen below in the upper left hand corner of each show).
Amazon’s interface is definitely a strike against it, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Most people will get used to it and won’t end up having any problem finding their next binge-worthy show.
Amazon Prime Video app
The Amazon Prime Video app makes it easy to access the platform’s content from pretty much any device, be it a smartphone, tablet, computer, or TV. The app is generally well reviewed by customers and has a seamless interface that’s better than the browser version.
One neat perk about the app is that it lets you download video content onto your devices. We’ll talk about that more in a section below.
Amazon Video allows you to have three simultaneous streams per account. But the service will limit you to just two simultaneous streams of the same title. (So much for our plan to watch Taxi reruns on three TVs at once.)
That’s better than Netflix, which allows only one stream at a time for its “Basic” plan and two for its “Standard” plan (you can upgrade to four streams with a pricier “Premium” plan). It also easily beats Hulu’s limit of one stream at a time.
4K high definition and other neat perks
Amazon Prime Video offers almost all of its Original content in super high-definition, making it one of the best ways to enjoy your 4K TV. Other streaming platforms, like Hulu and Netflix, are catching up in terms of 4K content, but Amazon Prime is still leading the pack.
Another nice perk that Amazon Prime Video users will get is the ability to download content. At any given time, you can have up to 25 Amazon Video titles downloaded to your computer, phone, tablet, or other device. That way, you can binge watch ABC Murders on the plane without paying for onboard Wi-Fi. Nice.
Recap: Is Amazon Prime Video good?
That’s about it, but we like to throw out a quick recap before we go. Here’s the TL;DR version of this article.
- Price: Amazon Prime Video costs $8.99 a month, which puts it in the middle of the pack when compared to other streaming services. But many people will get the service for free with their Amazon Prime account.
- Content: Prime Video boasts more movies than any other streaming service and has tons of classic television shows. But the service’s best selling point may be the Original content, like the new Lord of the Rings, or the access to Thursday Night Football to keep track of your Fantasy team.
- Additional channels: You can supplement Prime Video’s paltry sports, family, and live TV offerings by signing up for additional channels, like MLB.TV.
- User experience: The interface of Prime Video is probably its biggest weakness. It’s cluttered, hard to navigate, and includes a lot of content that you actually have to pay extra to watch.
That wraps up our Amazon Prime Video review. We hope you found it helpful, whether you decide to sign up or not!
We spend a lot of time working on these reviews and we like to give our readers a little peek under the hood, so to speak. Here are the four main features that we took into consideration when researching and evaluating Amazon Prime Video.
- Content: Does it have great Original programming? Does it have a well-rounded library for all kinds of audiences? Is there live TV and specialty content?
- Price: Is it affordable for casual viewers? How does it compare to other similar services?
- User experience: Is the website easy to understand and navigate? Does it help users find new and relevant content?
- Additional perks: Do customers get any bonus subscriptions or services? Are there options to add on live TV or other premium content?
Amazon Prime Video FAQs
The only way to stream Thursday Night Football games is with Amazon Prime Video.
Only pay $9–$15/mo. to get access to four games per month, plus quick Prime shipping and more.
Amazon Prime Video is $9 per month. You'd have to upgrade to the $15 plan if you'd like Prime shipping.
Netflix plans cost $7, $10, $15.50, and $20. The difference for each plan is the number of simultaneous streams. Netflix also offers a cheaper plan with ads.