With a vast selection that includes shows from HBO and quality in-house content like Transparent, Amazon Prime Instant Video is strong competition for streaming stalwarts Netflix and Hulu.
In an effort to compete with Netflix, Amazon has begun producing content in-house, and the results have been impressive. With Transparent (98% Rotten Tomatoes rating), the beautiful dramedy featuring everyone’s favourite Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) and Catastrophe (100% Rotten Tomatoes rating), Amazon is certainly on to a good thing. The only downside is, even as a Prime member, you will still have to pay to buy or rent new-release movies.
Amazon Prime Instant Video is offering a free 30-day trial at the moment. Simply head over to the website and sign up. Just remember that you will be asked for your credit card details and once the free trial is up, you’ll instantly be charged the yearly fee of $119.
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Lots of added benefits with an Amazon Prime membership
Excellent exclusive content
Lots to love for comic book fans
Annual payment (lock-in) is a big commitment compared to other services’ month-to-month deals
Lots of new releases are excluded from the deal
Doesn’t have the same “on-demand” feel as Netflix
Case study: Katia's experience
As long as you have an Amazon Prime account, you won’t pay anything extra to access an enormous library of TV shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video. Lately, I’ve been working my way through the Amazon Original series’ and I’ve been impressed with the quality of shows like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Romanoffs. Originals aside, the library includes classics like Suits, as well as hundreds of movies.
The only downside is that you have to pay an additional fee for some movies. I have no problem with this when it’s a new release, but I find it weird that Amazon charges a fee for films that have been out for a long time — like Christmas with the Kranks! I’m not sure about the logic behind that. In those cases, I’ll switch to another streaming service like Netflix or Hulu and, chances are, that title will be on there.
Amazon Prime Instant Video has a lot going for it, including impressive exclusive content and the fast shipping option. The annual commitment and hefty upfront payment is likely to discourage some customers Our biggest gripe? Amazon just doesn’t feel like a streaming video-on-demand service. It has a more sterile interface that makes it feel more like iTunes than Netflix.
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Frequently asked questions
Prime Day is Amazon’s version of Black Friday or Cyber Monday – 24 hours of insane sales on the Amazon shopping site. Prime Day 2017 is July 11th. Check here for Prime Day deals.
You will receive a full refund ONLY if you have not made any purchases using your prime membership benefits. Otherwise, you can only get a full or partial refund if you cancel your membership within 3 days of signing up.
Instant Video service on the road?”] Amazon Prime Instant Video allows you to download titles to your device before you leave. This way you can plan what you’d like to watch while you’re away, download it to your device while you still have Wi-Fi access and enjoy the service while you’re on the road.
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Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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