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As traditional cable TV fades further into obscurity, the world of online streaming services is larger than ever. With seemingly endless options to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the best TV streaming service.

Amazon Prime Video was one of the original On-Demand streaming platforms, even predating Netflix. Today, they remain a popular choice for watching your favorite movies and TV shows over the internet. But, how does Prime Video stack up against the competition?

Company Overview

Amazon Prime Video logo

Prime Video began as a movie rental service offered by its parent company, Amazon. It was originally launched in 2006 as Amazon Unbox. Since its modest beginnings, Amazon Prime has grown significantly.


  • Competitive pricing
  • Quality original content
  • Offers live TV channels and add-on channels
  • Included with Amazon Prime subscription


  • Complicated user interface
  • Charges extra for no ads
  • Limited selection of children’s content
  • No local TV channels

With the release of the Amazon Prime membership, the video streaming service was rebranded as Amazon Instant Video, and it was included as part of the Amazon Prime subscription. In 2015, “Instant” was dropped from the name, and in 2016, Amazon Prime Video expanded worldwide.

With over 117 million global subscribers, Amazon Prime Video is now one of the biggest streaming services in the world. In addition to On-Demand streaming content, Amazon Prime offers premium original content and live TV channels.


BBB rating: B
Price: $8.99 – 14.99/month
Year founded: 2006
Areas served: Worldwide
Contract required: No
Number of Channels: 100+
Ad-Free: Yes, for an extra $2.99/mo

Why We Like Amazon Prime Video

screenshot from the TV show Rings of Power

Amazon Prime Video is a versatile streaming service that is included as a benefit of Prime membership for customers. The platform primarily offers video-on-demand content, but also has live TV channels and optional add-ons.

A robust library containing thousands of titles can be watched instantly, and many more movies and TV shows are available for rent or purchase. For even more content, Prime Video offers options to seamlessly integrate over 100 premium channels with your subscription.

🏆 Watch award-winning original content like The Handmaid’s Tale and Rings of Power exclusively on Prime Video.

While Amazon Prime’s free library is somewhat smaller than rivals like Netflix or Hulu and notably lacks a wide abundance of children’s programs, they offer some of the highest-quality, exclusive original content. Award-winning TV shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, Rings of Power, and Reacher are all products of the Amazon-owned platform.

Without a membership, Prime content can still be rented or purchased individually. But compared to the low cost of Prime membership, buying singular titles is much more expensive.

Amazon Prime Video also offers a decent selection of live TV channels through Freevee. Some channels include CBS News, CBS Sports, ABC News, Reuters, and more. Customers can also add additional live channels to watch more live sports events.

However, the Prime Video channel lineup is not as impressive as competitors that specialize in live TV streaming, such as DIRECTV STREAM, and the service does not offer local channels.

Another caveat to Amazon Prime Video is its interface, which can be confusing. While Amazon Prime has evolved a lot since its start, many customers feel the interface is not user-friendly compared to newer streaming services.

Amazon Prime Video – How It Works

Amazon Prime Video

How much does Amazon Prime Video cost?

To get Prime Video, you have a few choices. You can sign up for Prime Video only, or join Amazon Prime for a variety of additional benefits. Amazon Prime is available as a monthly or yearly subscription. People on government assistance and students can get discounted rates on an Amazon Prime membership.


Amazon Prime Video is included as one of the many features of an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial for new Prime customers, so you can try out Amazon Prime Video for free. After the free trial period, you will be automatically billed for your Prime membership.

Amazon Prime Access Membership$6.99/monthDiscounted rate for qualifying low-income customers – Must be enrolled in a government assistance program or meet income eligibility
Amazon Prime Student Membership$7.49/monthDiscounted rate for students – Must verify school enrollment
Prime Video only$8.99Full access to Prime Video without any additional Prime benefits
Amazon Prime Membership (Monthly)$14.99/monthFull access to Prime Video – Free 2-day shipping – Amazon Music Prime – Whole Foods discount
Amazon Prime Membership (Yearly)$139/yearFull access to Prime Video – Free 2-day shipping – Amazon Music Prime – Whole Foods discount

Prime Video Membership – $8.99/month

Amazon offers a standalone Prime Video plan that focuses solely on video streaming without the added perks of free 2-day shipping or Amazon Music Prime. This plan starts with a 30-day free trial, then costs $8.99 per month. You can change or cancel your plan at any time.

With the Prime Video plan, you get full access to thousands of Prime movies and TV shows, with ads included. If you want to remove ads, you can pay an additional $2.99 per month.

Amazon Prime Membership – $14.99/month or $139/year

The standard price of an Amazon Prime membership includes full access to Prime Video. Customers can watch the entire selection of original, new, and classic content offered by the Amazon Prime library and take advantage of other benefits of a Prime membership, such as free 2-day shipping, Amazon Music Prime, and a Whole Foods discount.

Amazon Prime Student Membership – $7.49/month

Amazon offers a discounted monthly rate for Prime membership to students. To get the Student Members, customers must verify their school enrollment.

Amazon Prime Access Membership – $6.99/month

Amazon Prime Access is a discounted membership program that offers Prime membership for half-price to qualifying low-income customers. To sign up for Prime Access, customers must be enrolled in a government assistance program like SNAP or LIHEAP or meet income eligibility requirements.

NFL on Prime Video

Thursday Night Football

NFL on Prime is Amazon Prime Video’s exclusive access to live broadcast Thursday Night Football games. Starting in the 2022 NFL season, Amazon secured rights to stream these games, marking a significant shift in how fans can watch football.

Prime Video subscribers can tune into selected NFL games throughout the season without the need for a traditional cable subscription.

Backlash Over Advertisements

In January 2024, Amazon became embroiled in scandal after they added commercials to Prime Video. Previously, Prime Video content was ad-free. Now, customers must pay an extra $2.99 /month to remove ads from most On-Demand Prime programs.

In addition to adding commercials, Amazon also made the controversial decision to remove Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos unless customers pay the extra $2.99/month fee. Instead, standard-tier customers are limited to HDR10+ and Dolby Digital 5.1.

Amazon was not upfront with customers about these changes to their Prime Video accounts. Customers accused Amazon of deceptive practices, and in February 2024, a class action lawsuit was launched.

How To Watch Ad-Free

If your Prime Video content includes advertising, you can upgrade to an ad-free experience for an extra $2.99 per month.

Visit the Amazon website, then navigate to “Your Account” underneath “Account & Settings.” From here, you can choose the option “Go Ad-Free” and select “Start Subscription.”

Amazon Channels

Amazon Prime Video

Prime Video offers a big library of included content sorted by category, but not all content is included. Customers can also buy or rent additional content, such as the latest movie releases, from the Prime Video catalog.

Live TV is also available with your Amazon Prime Video subscription. While most Prime Video content is streamed on-demand, a decent selection of live TV channels are included for free through Freevee – another Amazon company. The full live TV channel line-up can be viewed here.

Freevee is an ad-supported service, so you cannot watch live TV commercial-free through Amazon Prime. Freevee content shows up in the Prime app, as well as the Freevee app.

Then, there are Amazon Channels. Somewhat uniquely, Amazon Prime Video allows you to add extra channels like Paramount+ and Starz to your account for extra monthly fees, which vary by channel.

In total, Amazon Prime offers over 100 premium channel add-ons. Here are just a few examples of add-on channels you can sign up for through Amazon to watch directly from your Prime Video account:

Streaming ServiceAdditional Cost
HBO Max$9.99 /month
STARZ$9.99 /month
MGM+$6.99 /month
Britbox$8.99 /month
Noggin$7.99 /month

Most of these channels offer 30-day free trials, so you can try them out for free before committing to a monthly subscription.

Required Equipment

Amazon Fire TV Stick

The main requirement to watch Amazon Prime Video is a high-speed internet connection. You will also need a device, such as a mobile phone, tablet, gaming console like Playstation or Xbox, or computer with an updated web browser to access your Prime Video content.

Amazon Prime Video can also be watched on your smart TV. As expected, Amazon Prime Video is compatible with the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV stick, as well as Roku TVs and streaming devices. Set-top boxes also work with Amazon Prime Video.

How To Get Started

To get started watching On-Demand and live content through Amazon Prime Video, you must first sign up for an Amazon Prime membership, if you do not have one already. First, log in to Amazon or create a new Amazon account.

Then, visit the Amazon Prime page to sign up for a membership. You can choose to pay monthly or yearly. There is a 30-day free trial for new Prime customers.

Once you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can immediately access thousands of movies and TV shows. You can watch using a computer, mobile device, streaming box, or smart TV. Simply log in to your Prime account to begin streaming.

📺 Amazon Prime Video supports up to 3 simultaneous streams, so you can watch on up to 3 screens at once. You can also have up to 6 User Profiles on Prime Video, including both adult and kids profiles.

How To Cancel

The only way to cancel Prime Video is to cancel your Amazon Prime membership altogether. To do this, visit the Amazon Prime page, then select “Update,” “Cancel,” and more. After this, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the cancellation process.

If you have not used any of your Amazon Prime benefits during your current pay period, Amazon offers a full refund, which will be processed in 3-5 days. Otherwise, your benefits, including Prime Video, will expire at the end of your billing cycle.

Customer Service Contact Info

Amazon has a Prime Video Help page dedicated to providing solutions to common issues and answering frequently asked questions.

From this Help page, you can also use the “Contact” button to get in touch with Amazon customer support. This will typically redirect you to an online chat.

There is also a Prime Video community form that can be a helpful resource.

To contact Amazon customer service over the phone, call the phone number 1-888-280-4331.

Prime Video App

The Amazon Prime Video app allows customers to watch content on a wide range of devices. The app works on Apple and Android devices, streaming devices like Roku, and smart TVs.

📱 The Prime Video app supports streaming on a wide range of devices, from smartphones to smart TVs.

From the Amazon Prime Video app, you can stream your favorite TV shows and movies, access live TV channels, and download content to watch offline. The app also lets you watch programs Picture-in-Picture while using other apps or websites.

It can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store. To begin streaming content from your mobile phone or tablet, install the Prime Video app on your device and log in with your account information.

The Prime Video App can also be installed on most smart TVs and streaming sticks. Keep in mind that you can watch Prime Video on up to 3 devices at once.

Is Amazon Prime Video Worth It?

Amazon Prime Video Review

Amazon Prime Video ranks as one of the best TV streaming platforms, thanks to its vast content library and additional Prime member benefits. With exclusive, award-winning originals and an impressive library of On-Demand content, Amazon Prime Video is a wonderful choice for viewers who enjoy quality, well-written TV shows and movies.

For an affordable monthly or yearly subscription, Prime Video customers also get all of Prime’s other benefits, like free shipping on Amazon products and Amazon Music Prime. For most people, this makes Prime Video a great value.

That said, there are a few places where Amazon Prime Video is lacking. When compared to competitors like Netflix, there is not a huge selection of children’s programs. If you have kids, you may want to consider another streaming service.

While Amazon Prime does have some live TV channels, they are not the best option for cord-cutters who want to replace their cable TV service. Other companies like Sling TV are a better match for viewers who want to tune in to live sports, local news, and TV channels.

These days, navigating the growing streaming services landscape can be confusing. With so many streaming platforms on the marketplace, choosing the one that gives you the most bang for your buck isn’t as easy as it seems. To save you time and money, check out our reviews of the best TV streaming services to find the best fit for your viewing preferences and budget.

Can I get Prime Video without joining Amazon Prime?

Yes, you can get Prime Video without joining Amazon Prime by subscribing directly to Prime Video for $8.99 per month. This option gives you access to Prime Video’s library of movies, TV shows, and original content but does not include other Amazon Prime benefits like free 2-day shipping and Amazon Music Prime.

Is Amazon Prime Video free?

No, but you can try Prime Video for free by signing up for Amazon Prime’s 30-day free trial. This trial gives you full access to Prime Video’s content. After the trial, you’ll automatically be charged for a membership unless you cancel.

What’s the difference between Amazon Prime and Prime Video?

Amazon Prime is a membership that includes free 2-day shipping, music streaming, and more, with Prime Video as one of its benefits. Prime Video is included at no extra cost.

You can also subscribe to Prime Video only. This option gives you full access to video streaming but you won’t get the other benefits that come with Amazon Prime.

Can I watch on multiple devices at the same time?

Yes, Amazon Prime Video supports up to 3 simultaneous streams, and you can create up to 6 user profiles.

Can I watch live sports on Amazon Prime Video?

Yes, Amazon Prime Video offers access to live sports, including exclusive rights to stream Thursday Night Football games.