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Amazon Prime Video guide UK: how much is Amazon Prime and what do you get with it?

The streaming service is the home of Jeremy Clarkson and The Grand Tour, but that's just the tip of the film and TV iceberg. Here's your full guide to what to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

The Grand Tour (Amazon)
Published: Thursday, 21st April 2022 at 4:40 pm

Amazon Prime Video. The name may be quite the mouthful, but it might just be one of the easiest entries into on-demand TV.

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Why? The service is free for Amazon Prime members (if you have free delivery, you probably have Prime), and all the shows are available through the Amazon website, so if you've used it for shopping then the service will be familiar.

Amazon is investing heavily in original TV series, and the service has an extensive archive of movies and TV shows to watch.

But before jumping into a subscription, what do you need to know? Here's a quick guide to what Amazon Prime Video is, how much it costs, what subscribers can watch and how to sign up below.

How much does Amazon Prime Video cost in the UK?

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 at £6.58 per month.

If you are sure you only want to use Amazon's video service, there is a separate membership just for Amazon Prime Video that costs £5.99 per month. However, that subscription does not include any of the other services. See all the available plans here.

If you want to see what the service is like before paying for it, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial.

Benefits of Amazon Prime

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Free next-day delivery
  • Prime Day Access
  • Prime Early Access to Lightning Deals
  • Amazon Music
  • Prime Reading
  • Prime Wardrobe
  • Prime Gaming
  • Prime Photos
  • Amazon First Reads
  • Deliveroo Plus
  • Same-day deliveries on select items

What do you get with Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime, of course, comes with all the films and TV shows included in Prime Video - but so much more.

The big draw for shoppers will be free next-day delivery on millions of eligible items, with no need for a minimum purchase amount.

This culminates with Prime Day, a two-day sales extravaganza exclusively for Prime members - with deals so good the event often outsells Black Friday for the shopping site. Previous deals have included 20 per cent off Amazon devices, 30 per cent off Amazon Everyday Essentials, several months of Amazon's services for as little as 99p, and huge savings on tech.

That's not all, however - subscribers get access to Amazon Music, which includes over 2 million ad-free songs, as well as access to a rotating selection of eBooks and magazines with Prime Reading and a free Kindle book from the Editors' six picks each month with Amazon First Reads. Oh, and Prime Members also get unlimited photo storage and try before you buy with Prime Wardrobe.

Amazon has continued to add benefits to their already great value subscription service over the last few years - Prime members can now get a free year of Deliveroo Plus, bonus game content with Prime Gaming and same-day grocery delivery on orders over £40 in select areas.

Finally, Prime members also get early access to Lightning Deals, 20 per cent off Alexa in-skill purchases and extra points on the Amazon Platinum Mastercard. Phew.

What is Amazon Prime Video?

Prime Video is a streaming TV and movie 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.

You don't buy individual series or films on Amazon Prime Video. Instead, you pay a monthly subscription which gives you access to a whole library of programmes to watch. Any programme that is included in the membership will have a Prime symbol over the image in search results (see screenshot below).

(Amazon)

Confusingly, there's also a service called Amazon Video (not Prime), which is essentially an online video rental/buying service like iTunes. With this service, you pay for individual TV episodes, whole series or movies, and can either download and keep them or rent them for a limited period.

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.

What can I watch on Amazon Prime Video?

Netflix's original series may have made the most noise early on, but Amazon has scored some surprising successes too with original TV series not available anywhere else.

The biggest shows on Amazon Prime Video include...

  • Starring David Tennant, Michael Sheen, and many many more big names, Good Omens is an adaptation of the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett fantasy novel of the same name.
Michael Sheen and David Tennant star in the Amazon Prime Video adaptation of Good Omens (Amazon)
  • The Grand Tour. Clarkson, Hammond and May are the unlikely poster boys for Amazon Prime Video.
Grand Tour
Grand Tour
  • Winner of three golden globes awards, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is a 1950s-set show following a New York housewife who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy.
  • Critically-acclaimed time-travelling drama Outlander.
  • Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevigne star in high-budget fantasy series Carnival Row.
  • The Boys. Starring Karl Urban, the show follows a band of vigilantes goes up against a group of corrupt superheroes.
  • John Krasinski plays a CIA analyst in spy thriller Jack Ryan.
  • Utopia. An American remake of the acclaimed British show starring John Cusack and Rainn Wilson.
  • Patrick Stewart returns to his most iconic role in Star Trek: Picard.
  • Hunters. A stylish thriller following Nazi hunters in the 1970s with Al Pacino.
  • Anthony Horowitz's teenage spy books get a second adaptation in Alex Rider.
  • Hanna is a television remake of the 2011 Saoirse Ronan film.
  • Critically acclaimed Thomas Jane sci-fi The Expanse.
  • VR comedy Upload from The Office US showrunner Greg Daniels.
  • Big budget fantasy adaptation The Wheel of Time based on the bestselling books by Robert Jordan.
  • Jeremy Clarkson swaps cars for crops in hit series Clarkson's Farm.
  • Crime thriller reboot Reacher based on the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child.
  • Sharp US comedy drama Transparent, the first ever online series to win a Golden Globe in 2014.
  • Adult animation Invincible based on the superhero comic of the same name.

With a big budget Lord of the Rings TV series, videogame adaptation Fallout and Neil Gaiman adaptation Anansi Boys also in the works, Amazon is not short of prestige TV.

What else can I watch on Amazon Prime Video?

As well as the TV shows listed above, there is an extensive film library with a host of award winners and blockbusters available to stream.

The streaming service has also signed a deal with film studio Lionsgate for exclusive first window streaming rights. This means movies such as The Courier, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, Wrath of Man and The Father will be available to watch on Amazon before their competitors, such as Netflix (who were previously partnered with Lionsgate).

In March 2022, Amazon closed a deal to acquire classic film studio MGM, the company behind The Handmaid's Tale and the Rocky series. Many MGM productions were subsequently added to Amazon Prime Video - including every James Bond film right through to No Time To Die.

The streaming service is also investing heavily in live sports rights. The US Open has been streamed live online in the UK on Prime Video since 2018, and a certain number of Premier League football matches will air exclusively on Amazon until at least 2025. Amazon also have the UK rights to the ATP World Tour, and have hosted rugby events such as the Autumn Nations Series.

Amazon has also built up quite the library of sports documentaries to complement its live offerings, with in-depth looks at sporting titans such as Rooney and Arsene Wenger: Invincible.

What are Amazon Prime Video Channels?

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 horror specialist Shudder and international streaming service Acorn TV.

Starzplay is home to hit shows such as Outlander, The Great and the many Power spin-offs, while hayu offers reality shows such as The Real Housewives series.

Instead of paying for large TV bundles full of channels you're not interested in, Amazon Channels aims to give you the chance to pick the channels you actually want to watch.

While most channels require a small monthly add-on fee, in 2019 Amazon launched free ad-supported channel Freevee (previously known as IMDB TV) which offers shows such as Alex Rider and Almost Paradise for no extra cost.

How many devices can you use with Amazon Prime Video?

You can stream on three devices at the same time with an Amazon Prime Video subscription. However, the same title can only be streamed on two devices at the same time.

For comparison Disney+ can stream on four devices at the same time, while Netflix allows streaming to one device on the basic plan, two on the standard plan on four on premium.

How to sign up to Amazon Prime Video

If you are already an Amazon Prime member, then you already have access to Prime Video. All you have to do is start searching for shows to watch.

To sign up as a new member, go to the Amazon Prime page, pick a membership plan that suits you and enter your details. Remember, you can start a free trial to check out what's available first.

Like Netflix, it is possible to share your subscription with other people. By linking up different Amazon accounts into an Amazon 'Household', you can share benefits such as free delivery and free streaming.

You keep your own personal account (so you can watch shows at your own pace), but can share all the benefits (and therefore costs) between members of the same 'household'. Find out more here.

How to watch Amazon Prime Video

After signing up, you can start watching from thousands of movies and TV shows on your computer, phone, tablet, games console or supported TV. Start searching for shows and movies here.

If you're watching on the go, the Prime Video app is worth downloading. If you want to watch on your TV, find out more about which devices are supported and how to set up here.

Prime Video is designed for streaming, but many shows are available to download and watch offline. This is useful when you're travelling or when you know you're not going to have internet access.

Amazon Channels is not included in your standard Prime Video membership. Instead, each channel comes with its own small monthly cost. Sports channels such as Eurosport are particularly highly valued as they feature live events that aren't available elsewhere. If you think that Sky or BT contracts are too expensive, this service could well be worth exploring.

If you're interested in finding out more about Amazon Channels click here, or if you just want to search through the channels available go to the Amazon Channels website.

Amazon Prime vs Netflix

Amazon Prime may have started out by playing catch up with Netflix - but has soon distinguished itself as a service in its own right and a key player in the streaming wars.

Amazon Prime may not match the sheer amount of content that Netflix releases on a weekly basis, but has slowly built itself a solid library of both original offerings and older releases that cater for all tastes. There's a notable amount of UK programming in the form of Good Omens and The Grand Tour, while mature comic book fans will be more than satisfied with refreshing offerings such as The Boys and Invincible. Fantasy book fans have finally been treated to a big-budget adaptation of The Wheel of Time - and with the launch of the Lord of the Rings series Amazon will be home to some of the biggest TV shows in the world.

The service also has quite the enviable film catalogue with the addition of the James Bond collection, and will continually be updated with the latest offerings from Lionsgate as well as Amazon exclusives such as The Tomorrow War. It's also invested in sport far more than most of its streaming rivals - it will be the only place to watch live events such as certain Premier League matches and the US Open, backed by a solid choice of sports documentaries.

Amazon Channels mean there is flexible extra entertainment for those who would like their streaming bill in one tidy package, while the option to buy and rent content not included in your prime subscription is an option not offered in most streaming services. However what really sets Amazon Prime apart is the sheer amount of benefits available in your subscription - even if you rarely use the streaming aspect, the £7.99 cost is more than justified if you make a few Amazon purchases or listen to a few songs each month.

Amazon Prime is easily one of the best value subscriptions available anywhere - see more in our guide to the best streaming services available.

Sign up for Amazon Prime for £7.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. Check out our lists of the best Amazon Prime series and best Amazon Prime movies, and for more tech news check out our Technology section.

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