Netflix sold and rented out DVDs of popular movies when it first launched. But do you know who pioneered it? None other than Amazon.com, Inc. However, Netflix took the lead in the realm of online video streaming, quickly achieving the title of being the “king” of streaming services. But Amazon.com wasn’t going to lag behind.
The company ventured into the on-demand video market in as early as 2006. The service was originally known as Amazon Unbox, later renamed to Amazon Instant Video, and finally re-branded to Prime Video with the development of Prime membership.
Amazon Prime Video enables users to watch TV shows from various channels, original content, and popular movies at a reasonable price. The service can be purchased either separately or as part of the Prime Membership.
In case you’re in a double bind between Amazon Prime Video and other services or would just like to get a detailed lowdown on the former, keep reading!
Amazon Video Plans & Pricing
Amazon Prime Video can either be bundled with Prime membership on a monthly or on an annual basis or be subscribed to Prime Video independent of the Prime membership. Let’s take a quick look at the different plans and their features:
1. Prime (monthly) – is priced at $10.99 per month
2. Prime (annual) – is priced at $99 per year which is roughly $8.25/month.
Both The Plans Include
- Two-Day Shipping
- Same-Day delivery wherever possible
- Prime Video (in the highest quality available)
- Unlimited music streaming
- Unlimited reading across devices
- Unlimited storage for photos (free)
The annual Prime plan includes an additional feature i.e. you can save an extra 25% on select products.
In case you’re too apprehensive about committing to a yearly plan or don’t require expedited delivery, you may simply opt for the standalone “Prime Video” plan for $8.99 per month. Note that this under this plan, users will not be able to enjoy any of the other benefits mentioned above.
Currently, one can subscribe to Prime Video from roughly 242 nations across the world. These countries include U.S., UK, Germany, Austria, Japan, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, India, and Spain.
Type of Content
At first, Amazon Prime Video received a rap on knuckles for offering a narrow range of content. However, the company took a tremendous amount of efforts to make improvements on that front. Such was the leap that currently, the platform boasts of having four times the number of films on Netflix.
A report suggested that Prime Video U.S. offers over 18,000 movie titles and roughly 1,980 TV series.
The company is constantly securing exciting deals with various TV networks but the one that has created a lot of buzz has to be their agreement with HBO. Aside from that, Amazon gets its content from approximately 100 content partners including the likes of Showtime, AMC, Starz, Comedy Central, and the like.
Some of the most popular movies on Prime Video include Café Society, Shaun the Sheep, The Hunger Games, Sicario, Blue Ruin, Creed, The Witch, American Beauty, Room, and many more.
Few of the best TV shows you can watch on the platform are 24, Downtown Abbey, Doctor Who, Sex and the City, Pride and Prejudice, Hannibal, Six Feet Under, and The Sopranos.
Joining the content-making bandwagon, Amazon Prime Video has produced some really outstanding TV series. Last year itself, 16 of Amazon’s shows were nominated for the Emmys. These included “Transparent”, “The Man in the High Castle”, and “Mozart in the Jungle”. Some other popular Prime Video Originals are “Catastrophe”, “Red Oaks”, and “Fleabag”.
Although most of what we’ve mentioned above can be accessed from various countries where Amazon Prime Video is available, it’s important to note that the content is curated as per the audience and may differ accordingly.
You can enjoy Prime Video using a bunch of gadgets including select Smart TVs, iOS and Android phones and tablet, Windows & MAC OS laptops and desktops, gaming consoles like Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Sadly, Prime Video isn’t supported on Apple TV yet. However, the good news is that they plan to build an app for Apple TV and release it sometime this year.
In case you’re using a media streaming player such as Roku, you don’t have to go through the download process since the app comes pre-installed.
Brief Comparison With Netflix
Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are similar in many ways but both have their own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at how they’re different from one another:
Both the services offer plans based on completely different parameters. Prime Video’s plans either come as part of the Prime membership, with several other benefits with regards to shipping and shopping whereas Netflix offers three price tiers hinging on video quality and the number of simultaneous screens like Hulu. We really can’t say which one’s the winner here because the monthly price is more or less the same under both services.
Having said that, consumers have claimed that the complexity of bundling streaming services with shipping plans can get quite confusing. Amazon has suffered with respect to branding aspects due to this very reason!
2. Platform Compatibility
As far as this criterion is concerned, Netflix takes the cake since the service is supported on more platforms including Google Chromecast and Apple TV. However, Amazon Prime Video is soon to launch an app for Apple TV so it’s catching up.
Though both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have a robust interface and an attractive design, we found that the interface on Netflix apps was more uniform and defined.
The Big Caveat
Now here’s something we’d like you guys to know about Amazon Prime Video. Even though a wide range of titles are included in the Prime Video plan, there are still many movies and TV series that will need to be purchased or rented separately. This may cost anywhere between $2 to $13 depending upon the type of content. Hence, make sure that you go to the “Included with Prime” page instead of opting for “All Amazon Videos”.