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With over 100 million subscribers worldwide, Amazon Prime Video is clearly a popular streaming platform for digital TV. Included with Amazon Prime memberships, Prime Video has a massive international reach, access to a wealth of resources, and substantial investment in the production of original content.
Whether you’re looking to get yourself an Amazon Prime Video subscription or you have one and aren’t using it to its fullest potential, here’s some more information to help you get the most out of your membership.
Amazon Prime Video, or just Prime Video for short, is an online streaming TV and movie service. It’s included in an Amazon Prime membership, or you can buy a standalone Prime Video subscription, too.
Launched in 2014, Amazon Prime Video is the biggest and most well-known competitor to the streaming giant Netflix, offering a comparable number of TV shows and movies available to stream on your laptop, smartphone, tablet or smart TV.
The majority of Amazon Prime movies and TV shows are available to stream at no extra cost, including Amazon Prime Originals available only on Prime Video. If that catalogue isn’t enough for you, however, you can buy or rent a number of movies and TV shows. This service is known (somewhat confusingly) as Amazon Video, not to be confused with Prime Video.
The choice of movies available on Prime Video is staggering, with new releases added every month. At last count, Amazon Prime Movies had roughly 4,000 titles in its library, including big-screen blockbusters, independent movies, documentaries and Hollywood classics.
Amazon Prime Movies also includes titles produced by Amazon themselves. Amazon Studios has had notable success with movies such as The Big Sick, Brittany Runs a Marathon, Late Night, and 2016’s Manchester by the Sea, which went on to win two Academy Awards.
Amazon has also invested heavily in its original content, creating some incredibly popular titles under its ‘Amazon Originals’ banner. Despite being constantly compared to Netflix, who has significantly more original titles, Amazon Originals are becoming increasingly well-known, with several series receiving significant critical acclaim.
Amy Sherman-Palladino’s follow-up to Gilmore Girls won the online streaming network no less than eight awards at the 2018 Emmys and two more in 2019. The show is set in 1950s New York City and focuses on the efforts of a “perfect, upper Westside wife” to break into the underground comedy scene.
The foul-mouthed Billy Butcher and his motley crew of anti-superhero freedom fighters took the nerd world by storm in 2019. The series was renewed for its third season before the second even started streaming, so expect more drama, action, blood, guts and swearing for years to come.
Co-produced by Amazon and BBC Three, Fleabag is the work of actor/writer/national treasure Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Set in London, the Amazon Prime TV show is hysterical, awkward, dirty and uncompromisingly blunt.
This sci-fi series, which is based on the book franchise of the same name, is set in a distant future in which humanity has colonised the solar system. Though originally appearing on SyFy, The Expanse moved to Prime Video for season four and has already been renewed for season five.
Amazon has already invested heavily in becoming a prominent platform for watching live sports online. Amazon Prime Video began streaming the US Open live in 2018 and has since acquired the rights to a number of Premier League football fixtures, including key bank holiday matches.
More and more live events are looking to be added to the streaming service, as well as sports documentaries and everything else you need to get your sports fix.
In addition to live sports, Amazon has recently introduced its Amazon Channels service which gives Amazon Prime members the option to select from over 40 premium channels to add to their subscription. These channels include well-known names such as Discovery, Eurosport, ITV+, and hayu (home of the Kardashians).
What differentiates Amazon Prime Video from competitors like Netflix is the inclusive benefits that come with an Amazon Prime membership. So not only do you get access to a massive library of movies and TV shows, but you also get access to free one-day shipping, Prime Music, Twitch Prime, Prime Photos, Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Prime early access, to name a few.
Amazon Prime Video can be viewed in a variety of ways, either accessing the platform directly through a web browser or on a device via the Prime Video app. The Prime Video app also gives users the option to download Amazon Prime TV shows and movies to view offline on their devices.
Amazon Prime Video can also be cast to most smart TVs and almost any other standard TV by using an Amazon Fire TV Stick. This affordable little device plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port and will allow you to stream Amazon Prime movies and TV with the press of a button.
Many games consoles and Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray players can also access Prime Video, making access to Amazon never far away.
As it stands, Amazon currently doesn’t offer its own broadband service; they’re too busy working on everything else from TV content to rocket ships. So in order to use the Amazon Prime Video service, you will need access to internet services, either via broadband or 4G and 5G mobile internet.
For non-HD viewing, Amazon Prime Video actually requires less bandwidth than other streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and YouTube. However, if you’re looking to stream Amazon Prime movies and TV shows in Ultra HD, you’ll need a minimum broadband download speed of 25Mbps.
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Amazon Prime membership costs £7.99 per month if you go for a monthly subscription. However, you can also opt for an annual subscription costing £79 per year, which works out to £6.58 per month. If you’re studying, you can get an Annual Student Membership for significantly less, often with free trials and reduced monthly rates.
There is a separate membership just for Amazon Prime Video that costs £5.99 per month if you only want access to Prime Video, which doesn’t include any of the other services.
Amazon Prime Day takes place once a year and gives Prime members the chance to score some great deals on all manner of items. This year, the online event is set to have a bounty of great deals available on thousands of products, as well as special offers on a number of Amazon’s subscription services such as Amazon Music, Amazon Prime TV Channels, and Kindle subscriptions.