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Amazon Prime Video: A Complete Review of its Cost and Subscription Plans

Amazon Prime Video is one of among the many video-on-demand services out there. Operated by Amazon, Prime Video offers thousands of shows and movies for users to watch. There are titles acquired or made by Amazon, as well as third-party content. Linked with Amazon Prime, users on Prime Video also have added features. These include fast delivery times, unlimited file storage and music streaming.

In this review, we will look at Amazon Prime Video and its features and services.

What is Amazon Prime Video?

amazon prime video
PCMag

 

Amazon Prime Video, also known as Prime Video, is Amazon’s Internet video-on-demand service. This service has thousands of TV shows and movies that people can access and watch. There is also content that is exclusive only to Amazon Prime Video that subscribers can see. But, before being able to access these content, users would need to pay a monthly subscription fee.

The service that became Amazon Prime Video started in September 2006. This came in the form of Amazon Unbox which was first launched in the United States. By September 2008, the service became known as Amazon Video on Demand. In February 2011, it became known as Amazon Instant Video. The service became Amazon Video in September 2015 with its current service launching in December 2016.

Amazon Prime Video has been expanding its catalog of TV shows and movies over the years. In February 2011, 5,000 TV shows and movies became available for access. By September of the same year, Amazon partnered with Epix to feature their movies on Amazon Instant Video. By November 2013, it released two Amazon-produced comedy shows on Amazon Instant Video. Amazon Prime Video started to offer anime content and sports-related content in 2017.

In 2015, Amazon started allowing third-party content on Amazon Video. This happened through what became the Amazon Channel. Such third-party content came from HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Curiosity Stream and others.

Amazon Prime Video had also been expanding to more countries since its launch. The service started with its launch in the United States. In 2014, services started in the United Kingdom through the Amazon subsidiary LoveFilm. It also became available in Germany and Austria in the same year. In 2016, Amazon Prime Video launched with worldwide access.

Amazon Prime Video was originally part of Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service started by Amazon in 2005. The purpose of the service was to provide additional services for Amazon customers. Amazon Prime Video was the video streaming part of Amazon Prime’s services. Aside from Prime Video, there is also Prime Music, Prime Reading, Prime Pantry, Prime Now and Prime Key. In April 2016, Prime Video became a service separated from Amazon Prime.

 

Amazon Prime Video subscriptions

amazon prime video
CNET

 

The basic subscription plan for Amazon Prime Video is at $5.59 per month. This gives you access to TV shows and movies acquired by Amazon without additional fees. You also get access to Prime Originals and Amazon Original Movies. These are TV shows or movies created by Amazon.

Users can also access shows and movies that are not acquired or created by Amazon. But, you would need to pay for access to these contents. You can rent or buy these shows and movies. For TV shows, you can either buy individual episodes or get a season pass. Prices for renting or buying shows and movies start at $2.99.

Amazon Prime Video subscribers can also access content from third-party channels. They can enjoy shows and movies from channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz. This is possible through Prime Video Channels with costs starting at $4.99. When using Prime Video Channels, there is no need to get cable or download additional apps.

Users can enjoy using Amazon Prime Video on up to three devices at once. You can also download shows and movies on your mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

Amazon Prime Video also offers a 30-day free trial. This allows users to try out Amazon Prime Video’s features. The good thing about this is that users can try out all the service’s features as if you are a subscriber. If you are a student, you can avail of the Amazon Prime Video’s 6-month trial period for students.

For both trial periods, you will also have access to Amazon Prime services. You will have access to features such as free two-day shipping. Amazon Prime Music and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library will also be available to you.

There are also discounted Amazon Prime Video plans for specific users. For students, you can avail of the service for as low as $6.49 per month. For users who verified using EBT or Medicaid, they can get the service for $5.99 per month.

Access to Amazon Prime Video is also available along with Amazon Prime subscription. The basic Amazon Prime subscription starts at $12.99 per month. Aside from having access to Amazon Prime Video features, you also get Amazon Prime perks. These include free two-day shipping for Amazon. You also get unlimited ad-free streaming on Prime Music. Amazon Cloud Drive will also offer you unlimited photo storage.

Amazon Prime Video is also available on the annual subscription for Amazon Prime. This costs $119 per year. You can access perks from both Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime. Compared to the monthly Prime subscription, you can save up to 23% at $9.92 per month.

 

How to get Amazon Prime Video subscription?

 To avail of an Amazon Prime Video subscription, you need to create an Amazon account first. To do that, head to Amazon’s website and sign up. It will require you to provide information such as personal and payment details.

Once you have set up your Amazon account, you can now subscribe to Amazon Prime Video. Then, click on Try Prime. Once you do this, you will see various plans for Amazon Prime Video subscription.

 The various subscription plans for Amazon Prime Video and their costs are as follows:

  • Prime Video-only subscription: $8.99 per month
  • Monthly Prime subscription: $12.99 per month
  • Yearly Prime subscription: $119
  • Prime Student: $6.49 per month
  • Prime with Electronic Benefits Transfer or Medicaid cards: $5.99 per month

Once you have chosen your subscription plan, you can now enjoy Prime Video.

After subscribing to Amazon Prime Video, you will always have the option to cancel it.

For Prime Video-only subscription, head to PrimeVideo.com. Then, log-in to Prime Video using your Amazon account. After logging in, click on Watch on Amazon. Following this, log-in again but this time to Amazon using your Amazon account. Head to Your Account and then look for Prime where you will need to click on Edit. After this, click on Update your Settings and then look at Manage membership. A drop-down menu would then appear where you will click End Membership. This will end your Amazon Prime Video subscription.

For Prime Video subscriptions through Amazon Prime, start by logging-in your Amazon account. Then, find Accounts & Lists. Under this, find and click on Your Prime Membership. Click on Update your settings under Manage membership. Lastly, click on End Membership on the drop-down menu. This will end your Prime Video subscription and your Amazon Prime subscription.

Aside from ending your subscription, it is also possible to get a refund. This refund is possible if you have not used your benefits after your last membership charge.

 

Amazon Prime Video features

amazon prime video
TechCrunch

 

Amazon Prime Video offers a lot of features that its subscribers will find useful.

 

Download for offline viewing

You can download Amazon Prime video movies and shows for offline viewing. This feature is accessible on the Amazon Prime Video app for mobile devices. To access this feature, do the following.

First, download the app. This is compatible with Android, iOS and Fire devices, as well as other mobile devices. Then, after getting the app, log-in using your Amazon account. Make sure that your account has either Prime Video or Prime subscriptions.

Then, select the show or movie that you want to download. For movies, the option to download is on the movie’s detail page. For TV shows, you can download an entire season or individual episodes. To download movies, find the download option on the detail page. To download individual episodes, find the download option beside the episode name.

Following this, the app will ask you about where you would like to save the show or movie. You have the option to save it on your mobile devices. But, since shows and movies can take up a lot of space, you can opt to save them on an SD card.

Before starting the download, the app will ask you about the quality of the show or movie that you will download. Keep in mind that the file size will increase as the quality increases. Once you have set the video quality, click on Start Download. To see the downloaded shows and movies, find the My Stuff button and press it.

Being able to download shows and movies for offline viewing has its benefits. This allows you to access these contents anytime and anywhere. There is no need to worry about the Internet connection when watching these shows and movies. There are no buffering or drops in video quality when watching downloaded content.

But, this feature does have its disadvantages. One such disadvantage is storage space. Shows and movies can take up a significant amount of storage space. This is especially true when your downloaded videos are of the highest video quality. It could lead to storage space issues for your mobile devices. Though, this is not much of a problem if your mobile devices come with an SD card. SD cards can provide additional storage space for downloaded content.

 

Parental controls

Amazon Prime Video also has a parental control feature. Meant for kids, parental controls allow you to set what shows your kids can or cannot watch. This feature is available for most devices. But, for Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablets and phones and Xbox consoles, you still need to set this up.

To set parental controls, head to Prime Video Parental Controls. You can also do this on Amazon’s website by heading to Account & Lists. From there, head to Your Prime Video, then to Settings and then click on Parental Controls.

After this, you will see the Prime Video PIN setting. This five-digit combination is for authorizing video purchases or rentals. The PIN is also used to bypass any parental control setting on Prime Video. You can set up the Prime Video PIN by pressing on Change.

Following the Prime Video PIN setting is the PIN on purchase setting. This allows you to require authentication before purchasing shows and movies. Turning this setting on will require anyone to insert the PIN anytime they are buying a show or movie.

There is also a Viewing restrictions setting. The feature allows you to restrict access to shows that do not fall under the allowed age ratings. It will require anyone to insert the PIN if they want to see these restricted shows. The settings have four age ratings: General for all ages, age 7 for family, age 13 for teens and age 18 for mature content.

Following this is an option to apply viewing restrictions to devices. This sets on which devices the set viewing restrictions will apply to. You can choose to have the viewing restrictions apply to all devices. You can also set it to only apply on specific devices.

The benefit of this feature is that this acts as some sort of safety net. This is especially true for unsupervised children using Amazon Prime Video. It prevents kids from doing an accidental purchase or viewing content not meant for kids. This can also be of help for adults especially in avoiding mistaken purchases of content.

The disadvantage of this feature is the requirement to insert the PIN every now and then. This could be a hassle especially if you’re sure with what you’re buying or watching on Prime Video. But, the ability to set which devices to set the restrictions on helps balance this out.

 

X-ray feature

X-ray is a feature on Amazon Prime Video that allows you to see additional information about a show or movie. These include a show or movie’s cast and characters, trivia, bonus content, and music. Users can see this additional information while watching a show or movie.

To access this feature, tap your mobile device’s screen, click up on your TV remote or move the cursor on desktop. This feature is available on mobile devices, TVs and desktops. Information comes from an IMDb integration in the service. This feature is available for a lot of shows and movies.

The benefits of this feature are that you get to know more about what you are watching. When you are curious to know who a character is or what song is playing, x-ray can easily answer your questions. There is no need to exit Amazon Prime Video and go browse the Internet to answer it.

The disadvantages of this feature are its limitations. As it is an IMDb integration, this requires an Internet connection to work. This means that the feature would not work on downloaded content for offline viewing.

 

Customizable captions

Amazon Prime Video have captions that are customizable to fit viewer preferences. Closed captioning is already a helpful feature on its own. It is helpful when viewers have issues with audio. By making it customizable, it makes the feature flexible and more useful.

To customize your closed captioning, head to Account & Settings. Then, head to Subtitles and click Edit on Subtitle Preset 1 or 2. Here, you can adjust the captioning’s color, font, font size, background, and others.

Once you’ve customized your closed captioning to your liking, press Save. After this, watch any content and activate closed captioning. You do this by pressing the CC button and press Select. You can adjust the caption size or select your caption presets.

The benefit of this feature is that it makes an already useful feature more useful. You can adjust the closed caption to fit your preferred watching experience. A variety of options and choices are available for you to use.

The possible disadvantage of this is that there might not be a preset caption that would work for you. While it is highly customizable, it is still somewhat limited. There is a possibility that its level of customizability is still not enough to fit one’s tastes.

 

Rent or buy option

Amazon Prime Video has a feature that allows users to rent or buy movies. This service is available for movies that are not acquired or created by Amazon. You can rent a movie for up to 30 days. Rent for a movie also expires 48 hours after watching it. Buying a movie allows for up to a lifetime of ownership for it.

To start renting or buying a movie, find a movie of your choice. After that, you will see an option to Rent or Buy the movie. There are times that a movie will come with more rental options. You will be able to see these options if you press More purchase options.

Once you have rented or bought a movie, you can press Watch Now to start watching it. If you are planning to watch the movie later, you can access the movie again by heading to My Stuff. Your rented or bought movie is under Purchases.

The pro of this service is that you can have access to many more movies that are not from Amazon. The con of this is that you need to pay additional cash for it. Also, the terms for the renting period can be a bit of a hassle. Buying the movie does not offer such benefits as you may only end up watching it once.

 

Why download Amazon Prime Video?

One of the reasons why people get Amazon Prime Video is because of Amazon Originals. Amazon Originals are shows or movies created in-house by Amazon. These shows and movies have the reputation of being critically acclaimed and fan favorites. Examples of popular Amazon Originals are The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Bosch.

Another reason to subscribe to this service is its Live NFL coverage. This started in April 2017 when Amazon acquired the rights to stream some NFL games. It was the start of Prime Video’s hosting of sports-related content. Prime Video streams NFL’s Thursday Night Football live without additional cost.

This service is also popular for students due to its student discounts. Students can avail of a six-month free trial period as well as a lower monthly subscription fee. If paired with Amazon Prime, they can avail of Prime features at 50% off its monthly subscription fee.

You can also share Amazon Prime Video with your family through Amazon Household. You can share it with up to two adults, four teens, and four children. Adults can have their own accounts. Teens can shop and stream with parents’ knowledge. Shopping is off-limits for children. Aside from sharing benefits, Amazon Household can also share content from the likes of Prime Video with the entire family.

Finally, there is also Amazon Channels. This is a program that allows for third-party content from TV channels to stream on Prime Video. Among the channels in this are HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cheddar. To access Amazon Channels, you need to pay an extra subscription starting at $2.99 per month.

 

What to watch on Amazon Prime Video?

Good Omens

good omens
The Nation Roar

 

Good Omens is a six-episode miniseries released in May 2019. This was co-produced by Amazon Video and BBC Two. Written by Neil Gaiman, it bases itself on a 1990 novel of the same name by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

The miniseries stars Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale and David Tennant as the demon Crowley. Aziraphale and Crowley both lived on Earth since its creation. They serve as the respective representatives of Heaven and Hell on Earth. Because of this, they had become used to life on Earth and ended up being friends. As the coming of the Antichrist and Armageddon looms, the two work together to prevent this.

 

The Romanoffs

the romanoffs
The New York Times

 

The Romanoffs is an eight-episode series created by Matthew Weiner. Created by Amazon Studios, it premiered on Prime Video in October 2018. The series stars a variety of casts acting as various characters in many stories. These characters believe they are from the Russian Romanov royal family.

 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

mrs maisel
Good Housekeeping

 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a historical period comedy-drama that premiered in 2017. Amy Sherman-Palladino created this series which released on Amazon Prime Video. As of 2019, it had run for three seasons and has the fourth season is in the works.

The series stars Rachel Brosnahan who plays as Miriam “Midge” Maisel. Midge is a young, rich Jewish American housewife living in New York in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The story follows Midge’s journey to becoming a comedian.

 

How to watch on Amazon Prime Video?

You can watch shows and movies with Amazon Prime Video on your Android device. To do this, download the app on your Android device from the Play Store. Then, open the app. It will require you to insert your Amazon account log-in details before being able to use the app. Once you’re logged in, select a video you want to watch. You can scroll down to Included with Prime or Free to me to see which videos you can watch. After this, click on a title and then press Watch Now to watch a show or movie.

The app is also available for iOS devices. You can start watching Amazon Prime Video content on your iOS device by heading to the App Store. The way to download and use Amazon Prime Video on iOS is similar to that for Android devices.

On a PC or Mac, you can watch on Amazon Prime Video using an Internet browser. Head to amazon.com on your browser and log-in. Then, click on Amazon Prime and head to Prime Video after this. Choose a video you want to watch and click on Watch Now.

On a PC or Mac, you can watch on Amazon Prime Video using an Internet browser. Head to amazon.com on your browser and log-in. Then, click on Amazon Prime and head to Prime Video after this. Choose a video you want to watch and click on Watch Now.

You can also access Amazon Prime Video on smart TVs such as Amazon Fire TV. Simply download the app and start watching shows and movies. You can also watch on this service with Chromecast. To do this, set up your Prime Video on your mobile device. Then, sync your mobile device with Chromecast to cast it on your TV.

There are other similar streaming apps that you can access. Check out this article on the best free streaming apps for PCs.

Miguel

Miguel

A writer trying to make sense of tech.

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