When I originally signed up for Amazon Prime it was for the free 2-day shipping. Admittedly, I buy way more than any one person should on Amazon, so I figured the free shipping would at least save me some money. At that point, I had no idea what an integral part of my streaming plans Amazon Prime video would become. Keep reading my Amazon Prime Video review to learn more.
As it turns out, Amazon Prime is a WHOLE LOT MORE than just free 2-day shipping. There are countless benefits to an Amazon Prime membership, one of the biggest being Amazon Prime Instant Video. Our full Amazon Prime Video review has all the details of this great benefit of Prime membership.
What is Amazon Prime Video?
Basically, Amazon Prime Video is a Netflix-like streaming service that lets you stream on-demand TV shows, movies and more. The library offers literally hundreds of thousands of hours of content, ranging from the latest comedy specials to documentaries to classic films.
Amazon Prime Video offers thousands of films in all genres and equally as much, if not more, television content. Full seasons of TV shows are added and there is plenty of premium content available including titles from HBO and Showtime. Everything from documentaries to horror films are available in abundance. Shows are updated monthly with small additions or removals as catalogs are updated. The service is quite similar to Netflix, but offers different content.
Amazon’s interface varies depending on the device you’re using it on, but it’s generally fairly intuitive and easy to navigate. Other devices you can access Amazon prime video on include Roku, Smart TVs, cell phones, Amazon Fire devices, Chromecast, and other streaming devices.
What are the Main Amazon Prime Video Features?
Amazon Prime Instant Video is a great way to keep up with your favorite shows, binge watch old classics, watch exclusive Amazon Originals, and more. Some key features of the service include:
- On-demand streaming – everything is available on-demand, to watch whenever you want.
- Full HD video quality – as long as you have a good internet connection, you’ll get full 1080p HD
- 4k streaming of select content – some shows and movies on Amazon are available in 4k!
- Ad-free streaming – you’ll never have to sit through an annoying commercial!
- Watch from multiple devices – you can watch from multiple devices simultaneously
- Watch on almost any device – Amazon Prime devices include computers, smart TVs, streaming devices (Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, etc.), mobile devices, and more!
- Thousands of options – a 2016 report showed that Amazon Prime Instant Video offered over 18,000 movies and more than 2,000 TV shows. This number fluctuates, but needless to say, there is no shortage of things to watch!
- Exclusive access to Amazon Originals – Amazon has been hard at work producing award-winning TV shows and original movies, which are EXCLUSIVELY available via Amazon Instant Video. We have a full section with more details on Amazon Prime Originals below.
- Access to Amazon Channels – there are also add-on channels available that allow you to further expand your streaming options. You can add on channels like HBO, Starz, Showtime and more to your Amazon Prime membership.
- Free 30-day trial available – if you’d like to test things out for yourself, but aren’t ready to commit, you can try Amazon Prime for a full month, for free! This is the FULL Amazon Prime membership, too, so you’ll get a lot more than just Amazon Instant Video.
What are Amazon Prime Original Shows?
One huge benefit of Amazon Prime Instant Video is that you get exclusive access to Amazon Prime Original Shows. There are tons of great shows, but some highlights include the new Grand Tour (the replacement for Top Gear), Golden-Globe winning Mozart in the Jungle, the Golden Globe, Emmy, AND Critics Choice award-winning Transparent, and much more! There are also original movies, such as the Oscar-nominated Manchester by the Sea.
The unique thing is that these shows are not available ANYWHERE else. They are exclusively for Amazon Prime members, and can only be viewed via Amazon Video. Considering the high quality of these shows, this is a huge benefit of Amazon Prime membership.
What are Amazon Prime Channels?
One of the cool things about Amazon Prime Video is the add-on subscriptions, known as Amazon Prime Channels. Amazon offers over 100 Amazon Channels, ranging from $2.99 per month to $14.99 per month. These are available to add on to your existing Prime membership, and can be accessed via the Amazon Prime video apps.
While HBO, Showtime and Starz are the most popular options, there are several others, and when most of them are under $5 they are certainly worth considering purchasing. Not only that, but each add-on offers its own free trial, so you can experience the subscription before you pay for it. Other worthwhile subscriptions include Acorn TV, SeeSo, Shudder, and Tribeca Shortlist, though there are tons of subscriptions in all different genres. Amazon just recently added HBO and Cinemax, and they have plans to further expand Amazon Prime Channels in the future.
How Much Does Amazon Prime Video Cost?
If you are considering signing up for Amazon prime video, cost varies depending on the package that you choose. The original Prime package is an annual cost of $99 a year. To put that in perspective it works out to around $8.75 a month (with all the other Amazon Prime benefits – see below), which really makes Amazon Prime Video one of the best deals in streaming. If you value the other benefits of Prime membership, the Amazon Prime TV cost is really much lower. That said, if you don’t want to pay annually, or can’t afford it, Amazon now offers monthly options.
You can choose Amazon Prime monthly or Amazon Prime Video monthly. The entire service is $10.99 a month and just the video service is $8.99/month. This still makes the service one of the best deals in streaming, though obviously you get the best deal with the annual pricing.
What are the Other Benefits of Amazon Prime Membership?
Amazon Prime membership offers so many great features that it’s actually difficult to list them all in a concise way. Beyond two-day shipping, you receive the full Amazon prime video library and over a million songs and albums in the Amazon Prime music library. If you’re into audio books and sign up to Audible, you get a free audiobook each month as part of your membership. You also get special sale offers and pre-sale offers that are only open to Prime members. Some key features include:
- Free 2 day shipping on millions of items on Amazon.com – one of the main reasons people subscribe to Amazon Prime is this generous benefit. If you shop on Amazon regularly, it’s a must to have Prime!
- Exclusive discounts and sales – Prime members are offered exclusive discounts on many Amazon products, and also exclusive access to Prime-only sales and special events.
- Amazon Instant Video – obviously, Prime also gives you access to Amazon Prime Video, which for many makes the membership worth it right off the bat!
- Amazon Channels – as described in the section above, Prime members get access to Amazon Prime Channels, which let you stream content from premium channels like HBO and Showtime.
- Free photo storage – no need to pay for Dropbox or another cloud storage system; you can store unlimited photos on Amazon Prime, for free!
- Free music streaming – Prime comes with access to a free music streaming service that is similar to Pandora and Spotify
- Free borrowing of eBooks – for Kindle owners, Prime members are able to participate in the “Kindle Lending Library”, which allows you to borrow eBooks from other members for free
- Much more – as mentioned, it’s honestly difficult to list everything Prime has to offer. Why not start your free 30-day trial, and try things out for yourself?
Is there an Amazon Prime Free Trial Offer?
Amazon offers a free 30-day trial, which is pretty generous. While most services will give you a week, a month gives you plenty of time to explore the entire Amazon prime video catalog. Not only that, but you’ll have time to test and enjoy the other Amazon services, as well. And if you choose to cancel, it’s very easy to cancel your Prime subscription.
Amazon Prime Video Review: Bottom Line
The entire purpose of this Amazon Prime Video review is to determine whether or not the service is worth it. In all honesty, for the money you pay, Amazon Prime Instant Video is becoming one of the best options in streaming. If you were on the fence before reading this Amazon Prime Video review, I definitely recommend signing up for the trial to at least try out the service.
If you’re looking at just Amazon Prime Video, the service is well worth the cost of $99 per year. But when you factor in all the benefits of Amazon Prime membership, it becomes an incredible bargain, and practically a no-brainer in my opinion.
Click here to start your free month of Amazon Prime to explore the benefits for yourself!