Hello guys and welcome to the another update form the streaming wars. In this article we are going to discuss about another dark horse of the streaming battles happening across the world, which is ‘AMAZON PRIME INSTANT VIDEO’.
I am pretty sure most of you have experienced the amazing service of, one of the best online shopping platform of the world, Amazon.com. Amazon has been successfully serving the world for almost two decades, so there are no uncertainties when it comes to the quality of its products and services. Amazon Instant Prime Video is another great service provided by Amazon in some limited countries. But before we discuss about the streaming service, lets understand the Amazon Prime Subscription first.
Amazon Prime Subscription
Guys Amazon Prime is a Premium Service (Paid Service) offered by Amazon, in which the subscribers can unveil many of the exclusive features and offers which are not available for the regular customers of Amazon, like music, video streaming, shipping benefits, infinite photo storage drive etc.
Before i start my review, i just want to make sure that, this article is mainly concerned only with the online streaming services of the prime subscribers, although some of the other relevant features will also be discussed, but very briefly. So, lets start with Amazon Prime Instant Video.
What is Amazon Prime Instant Video ?
Lets start with some dates, Amazon’s on-demand streaming service was started in 2007 in United States (USA) by the name Amazon Unbox. Later in 2011, Amazon rebranded it as Amazon Instant Videos and added more than 5000 titles(Movies and TV Shows) for its Prime Subscribers. In February 2014, the company expanded its service in United Kingdom, and later that year in Austria, Japan and Germany, with over 90,000 unique titles in its streaming catalog.
Stream, Rent or Download
Just like Netflix and Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime Instant Video is also an on-demand, online video streaming service, which offers allows its subscribers to stream through its magnificent catalog of movies, TV shows, and other media content. But there are some additional features which make it unique from the prior services, like downloading, rentals etc.
Along with the free streaming service, the company also offers its subscribers to rent or download (buy) a lot of Latest and Popular TV shows and Movies, as all of the content in its catalog is not available for free streaming, not even for the PAID Prime subscribers.
This is one of the drawback that subscribers have to pay extra for individual episodes of TV shows and movies,also the option of buying complete seasons is also available, but the whole thing of chord cutting revolves around the idea of saving oneself from the heavy bills cable services. So if you if you think, the service can save you some money, it is possible only if you are ready to compromise with both quality and quantity of the content.
The subscription of the services is pretty easy, you can simply follow the on screen instructions given on the official Amazon website. You just have to fill some basic info, and your payment details (mandatory).
Prices and Offers
Unlike Netflix and Hulu Plus, monthly subscription plans are not available for Amazon Prime. There is only one plan which is $99 for the entire year. The plan is not at all expensive, if you are a regular customer of Amazon, as there are a lot of exclusive services, which can be a real deal deal for you. But if you consider it only on the basis of on-demand video streaming service, the prices are a little higher than its rivals.
Offers (free trial and student plans)
There is also a 30 days free trial, for the Prime Subscription in which you can access all the features of the prime membership. This free trial is only available only available for the new members, and after the free months normal charges will be implied. Subscribers can easily cancel their subscription at any point, during the free trial, if they are not satisfied with the service.
There is also a student membership plan which offers a 6 months free trial to the students, but you cannot access the video streaming or live music service in the trial period. After these 6 months, students can upgrade their account by paying only $50 for an entire year. In this paid service students can access all the services which are available for standard Prime subscribers.
Amazon Prime Instant Video Watchlist
The watchlist of Amazon Prime Video Service is pretty good when it comes to movies, a lot of good movies are available for direct streaming, downloading or renting. Quantity wise the Amazons catalog is smaller than Netflix but it offers a lot more quality titles to select from. Some of the top movies which you can stream on Amazon Prime are Martian, Hotel Transylvania 2, Intersteller, Pulp Fiction etc.
Amazon Instant Video also has a pretty decent TV shows catalog, along with some old shows, Amazon has some recent TV shows in its catalog. Amazon also has some ties with media production giants like Showtime ans Starz, therefore a lot of ongoing shows are also available on Amazons catalog. Although the recent shows are not available as soon as they are aired, it takes around 5 to 6 days generally. Some of the top shows on Amazon Instant catalog are Downton Abbey, Pretty Little Liars, Doctor Who, The Good Wife etc, The Big Bang Theory etc.
Along with this, Amazon also has some good original content (self produced) which is worth watching. Some of them are Mozart In The Jungle, Transparent, Bouch etc.
The list of devices supporting Amazon Instant Prime Videos is pretty good. Almost all the mainstream devices available in the market support this video streaming services. Some of the devices are:-
- Sony Televisions and gaming consoles (Play Station)
- Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition, Amazon Kindle
- X box 360, Roku Player
- Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod
- Samsung Smart TV
- LG Smart TV
- Panasonic Smart TV
For complete list of devices that support Amazon Prime Instant Video you can also refer customer support.
Unlike its online shopping services, Amazon is not leading the on-demand services or the streaming war, as we call it. There are a lot of hurdles in its way to the top, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. The first and the most obvious reason for that is, the price.
Both Netflix and Hulu Plus allow their consumers to access their full streaming catalog in less the $10 month. While amazon charges $99 per year which is a little bit expensive than the prior services, also you cannot stream the entire catalog of Amazon for free, even after the paid subscription. Viewers have to pay for individual episodes and movies. The downloading cost of a single episode goes as high as $3, while the for movies it can reach upto $15(renting movie is a little cheaper though). The price varies, depending upon a lot of factors like, popularity, age, video format etc.
In my opinion, Netflix is the best online on-demand video streaming service available right now, with its vast categories of movies and TV shows. On the other hand, Hulu Plus is amazing when it comes to streaming ongoing shows. Hulu offers a lot of shows, the very next day they are aired on cable channels, this is possible because of its ties with some big media production companies. Amazon also have few ongoing series but the service is not as fast as Hulu Plus as i have mentioned earlier. But Amazon has its own benefits, like a lot of Movies are available as soon as they are released on DVDs.
Additional Services of Amazon prime Subscription
As i told u earlier, Amazon Prime is a premium plan which offers a lot of other services along with Prime Video. Some of the additional services are :-
The Prime subscription of Amazon has this unique feature, Amazon Music which offers its members the access of over a million songs, all for free. Subscribers can listen ad-free music from many of the top artists across the world. The service offers a lot of playlist arranged according to their genres, such that you can easily find the best music for your mood. Users can also create their own playlists by adding their favorite songs. The service has few more amazing feature like Unlimited skips, No Playback Restrictions, Downloading option etc. The service is not good as Spotify or Pandora, but as a free addition, its pretty cool.
Free 2 Days Shipping
Amazon Prime subscribers also get a free 2 days shipping service, which usually takes 5 to 6 days without the Prime Membership. Also the subscribers will get the access of latest deals and offers, 30 minutes earlier than the regular customers.
There are few other good services like free eBooks for Kindle, infinite photo storage drive etc. So overall the service is a value for money, for the regular customers of Amazon.
So, guys this is my review of the OTT-VOD (Over The Top-Video On Demand) service provided by Amazon, “Amazn Priime Instant Videos”, i hope this review will help you in talking your decision.
If you have any doubts, or something you want to mention here, you are welcome to leave a comment below, i’ll be happy to help you.