Amazon Prime Video. The name may be quite the mouthful, but it might just be the safest entry into on demand TV. Free for Amazon Prime customers (if you have free delivery, you probably have Prime), the streaming service is investing heavily in original TV series – oh, and some bloke called Jeremy Clarkson…
But before jumping into a subscription, what do you need to know? Here’s a quick guide to Amazon Prime Video, from how much it costs to what you get for your money.
What is Amazon Prime Video?
Prime Video is a streaming TV service from online shopping company Amazon. Launched in 2014, it allows Prime members to watch TV via an internet connection, without having to download. If you’re using a tablet or mobile device, you can also download episodes to watch later – handy if you’re a binge-watching commuter.
Slightly confusingly, there’s also a service called Amazon Video (not Prime), which is basically an online video rental/buying service like iTunes, where you can pay for individual TV episodes, whole series or movies.
It can be annoying arriving at a series you like the look of only to discover it isn’t included in your Prime subscription – but you quickly get a feel for what’s included and what comes extra.
How much does Amazon Prime Video cost in the UK?
If you sign up for Amazon Prime, you sign up for a whole bundle of services, from free next day delivery, music streaming service Amazon Music, as well as, of course, TV series and films. Prime membership costs £79 a year, or £7.99 a month.
Netflix‘s original series may have made the most noise early on, but Amazon have scored some surprising successes too with original content not available anywhere else. Sharp US comedy drama Transparent became the first ever online series to win a Golden Globe in 2014, while cult comic book series Preacher with Dominic Cooper is already becoming a slow burning success.
Amazon is also the only place to watch US series such as time-travelling drama Outlander, as well as Golden Globe-winning hacking drama Mr Robot.
And then there is The Grand Tour. Clarkson, Hammond and May are the unlikely poster boys for Amazon Prime Video – whether that’s a deal breaker probably depends on what you think of the former Top Gear tearaways.
What else can I watch through Amazon Prime?
In May 2017, Amazon launched its new TV service Amazon Channels in the UK. The new service gives Amazon Prime subscribers the chance to pick and choose from over 40 different premium channels, from Discovery and Eurosport to classic movie channel MGM and Scandidrama channel Nordic Noir and Beyond.
Basically, rather than paying for large TV bundles full of stuff you don’t care about, Amazon Channels aims to give you the chance to pick the channels you actually want to watch. However, there are limitations…