With the increasing popularity of streaming services, more and more people are wondering whether they need yet another subscription to watch movies and TV shows online. One of the most common questions people have is: do you have to pay for Prime Video?
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, you need an Amazon Prime membership to access Prime Video. However, there are some exceptions and ways to watch some Prime Video content for free or through a different subscription.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about paying for Prime Video access. We’ll cover topics like how much Prime Video costs, what’s included with a Prime membership, how to watch some shows for free, and alternative options to Prime Video.
What Is Amazon Prime Video?
Amazon Prime Video is a popular streaming service offered by Amazon. It is a subscription-based platform that allows users to access a wide range of movies, TV shows, and original content. With a subscription to Amazon Prime Video, users can enjoy unlimited streaming of their favorite movies and shows anytime, anywhere.
Brief history and overview of Prime Video service
Amazon Prime Video was first launched in 2006 as Amazon Unbox, which was a digital video download service. Over the years, it has evolved into a full-fledged streaming platform, competing with other major players in the industry.
Today, Amazon Prime Video is available in over 200 countries and has a vast library of content from various genres.
One of the key features of Amazon Prime Video is its integration with Amazon Prime membership. Subscribers to Amazon Prime not only get access to Prime Video but also enjoy benefits like free two-day shipping on eligible items, access to Prime Music, and more.
Content available on Prime Video (movies, shows, originals, etc.)
Amazon Prime Video offers a diverse selection of content, including movies, TV shows, documentaries, and original programming. The streaming service has a vast library that covers various genres and caters to different interests.
Users can find popular movies from different eras, ranging from classic films to the latest blockbusters. Prime Video also features a wide range of TV shows, including popular series from various networks and exclusive content produced by Amazon Studios.
One of the highlights of Amazon Prime Video is its collection of original programming. These are exclusive shows and movies that are produced by Amazon Studios. Some of the most popular Amazon Originals include “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “The Boys,” “Fleabag,” and “Transparent.”
Devices and platforms that support Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms, making it accessible to users across different devices.
Users can stream content on their smart TVs, game consoles, streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick, smartphones, tablets, and computers. Additionally, Amazon Prime Video also supports offline downloads, allowing users to watch their favorite shows and movies even without an internet connection.
With its wide range of compatible devices and platforms, Amazon Prime Video offers users the flexibility to enjoy their favorite content on their preferred devices.
Do You Need Prime Membership to Watch Prime Video?
Yes, to access Prime Video, you do need a Prime membership. Prime Video is one of the many benefits that come bundled with an Amazon Prime membership. This means that in addition to enjoying free two-day shipping on eligible items, access to Prime Music, and other exclusive deals, you also get unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows on Prime Video.
Monthly and Annual Prime Membership Pricing Options
Amazon offers two pricing options for Prime membership. You can choose to pay for it on a monthly basis, or you can opt for an annual subscription. The monthly membership fee is $12.99, while the annual membership fee is $119, which works out to be around $9.92 per month.
By choosing the annual subscription, you save almost 24% compared to the monthly option.
Benefits of Amazon Prime Beyond Video Streaming
While access to Prime Video is a major perk, there are many other benefits of having an Amazon Prime membership. These include:
- Free two-day shipping on eligible items
- Access to Prime Music, which allows you to stream millions of songs ad-free
- Prime Reading, which provides you with access to a rotating selection of books, magazines, and comics
- Exclusive deals and discounts, especially during Prime Day
- Unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos
- Early access to Lightning Deals
So, while Prime Video is a valuable aspect of Amazon Prime, the membership offers a range of additional benefits that make it a great value for money.
Exceptions: Ways to Watch Some Prime Video Content for Free
Limited selection available for free with an Amazon account
If you have an Amazon account, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that there is a limited selection of Prime Video content available to watch for free. While the selection may not be as extensive as what is offered with a Prime membership, it still provides access to popular movies and TV shows.
So, before you assume that you have to pay for Prime Video, be sure to check out the free content that is available with your Amazon account.
Prime Video 30-day free trial for new members
If you’re new to Prime Video, you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial. This trial period allows you to explore the vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content that Prime Video has to offer without having to pay a dime.
It’s a great way to test out the service and see if it’s something you enjoy before committing to a paid subscription. Just remember to cancel before the trial period ends if you decide it’s not for you.
How to watch originals like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for free
Amazon Prime Video is known for its critically acclaimed original content, such as “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” While these shows are typically exclusive to Prime members, there are ways to watch them for free. One option is to take advantage of the free trial period mentioned earlier.
Another option is to keep an eye out for special promotions or discounts that may allow non-members to access select original shows for a limited time. So, even if you don’t have a Prime membership, you still might have a chance to enjoy some of Prime Video’s most popular content.
Using Prime Video Channels subscriptions without Prime
Prime Video Channels are additional subscriptions that you can add to your Prime Video account to access even more content. While these subscriptions typically require a Prime membership, there are some channels that can be subscribed to without a Prime membership.
For example, CBS All Access and STARZ are available as standalone subscriptions on Prime Video. So, if you’re only interested in specific channels and don’t want to pay for a Prime membership, you still have options to access additional content through Prime Video.
Alternatives to Paying for Prime Video
Options like Netflix and Hulu for video streaming
When it comes to streaming video content, there are several alternatives to paying for Prime Video. Two popular options include Netflix and Hulu. Netflix offers a wide range of movies and TV shows, including original content, while Hulu primarily focuses on current TV episodes.
Both platforms require a monthly subscription fee, but they provide a vast library of content to choose from, making them great alternatives for those looking for a variety of streaming options.
Comparing features and pricing of competitors
Before making a decision, it’s essential to compare the features and pricing of different streaming services. Netflix, for example, offers multiple subscription tiers depending on the number of devices and video quality you prefer.
Hulu, on the other hand, provides the option to watch content with limited commercials or without any ads for an additional fee. By assessing your needs and preferences, you can find a streaming service that aligns with your budget and viewing habits.
Using free streaming sites with limited content
If you’re not ready to commit to a monthly subscription fee, there are also free streaming sites available. These sites offer a limited selection of movies and TV shows, but they can still provide entertainment options without any cost.
Keep in mind that these sites may have ads or require you to create an account to access their content. Some popular free streaming sites include Tubi, Crackle, and Pluto TV.
Renting or buying shows a la carte from Amazon without Prime
If you want to access specific shows or movies without subscribing to Prime Video, you can rent or buy them a la carte from Amazon. This option allows you to pay only for the content you want to watch without committing to a monthly subscription.
However, it’s worth noting that renting or buying individual shows or movies can be more expensive in the long run compared to a subscription-based streaming service.
Borrowing DVDs from the library
For those who prefer physical media, borrowing DVDs from the library is another alternative to paying for Prime Video. Many libraries have a vast collection of movies and TV shows available for loan, allowing you to enjoy your favorite content without spending any money.
This option is particularly useful for individuals who don’t have reliable internet access or prefer the nostalgic feel of watching DVDs.
The Bottom Line: Is Prime Video Worth Paying For?
Summary of key points on Prime Video pricing
Prime Video, a streaming service offered by Amazon, provides access to a wide range of movies, TV shows, and original content. While it is a paid service, there are various pricing options available. The most common way to access Prime Video is through an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year.
However, it is important to note that Prime Video can also be subscribed to separately for $8.99 per month. Additionally, Amazon offers a 30-day free trial for new subscribers to try out the service.
Factors to consider like Amazon ordering frequency
When deciding whether Prime Video is worth paying for, it is essential to consider factors such as your Amazon ordering frequency. Apart from providing access to a vast library of content, an Amazon Prime membership also offers benefits like free two-day shipping on eligible items, access to exclusive deals, and more.
If you frequently shop on Amazon and take advantage of these perks, the additional cost of Prime Video may be well worth it.
Pros and cons of paying for Prime Video access
There are several advantages to paying for Prime Video access. Firstly, it offers a vast collection of movies and TV shows, including popular titles and exclusive content produced by Amazon Studios. The service also allows for offline downloads, enabling users to watch their favorite shows and movies without an internet connection.
Furthermore, Prime Video is compatible with various devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.
However, it is important to note that Prime Video does have some limitations. While it does offer a wide selection of content, it may not have all the latest releases or shows from other streaming platforms. Additionally, some content may require an additional fee to rent or purchase.
It is also worth considering whether you have the time to fully utilize the service and make the most of what it offers.
Recommendations based on viewer habits and preferences
Ultimately, whether Prime Video is worth paying for depends on your viewing habits and preferences. If you are a frequent consumer of movies and TV shows and enjoy the convenience of streaming on-demand content, Prime Video can be a great investment.
It offers a diverse range of genres, including popular TV series, critically acclaimed movies, and even exclusive documentaries and stand-up specials.
However, if you rarely watch TV or prefer other streaming services that align more with your interests, it may be worth considering other options. It can be helpful to explore the content libraries of different streaming platforms and compare their offerings before making a decision.
In conclusion, accessing Amazon’s expansive Prime Video library does require an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $139 per year or $14.99 monthly. However, there are some exceptions where you can watch select Prime Video content for free with just an Amazon account.
Ultimately, whether or not Prime Video is worth paying for depends on your viewing preferences and habits. For avid Amazon shoppers and fans of Prime originals, a Prime membership is likely worthwhile.
But casual viewers may be better off choosing a cheaper streaming option or accessing Prime Video’s free content.
Weigh the pros, cons, and alternatives covered here to decide if you need Prime Video access. Considering your viewing frequency, budget, and Amazon ordering needs can help determine if a paid subscription is necessary.