Boasting an expansive content library and a robust selection of original programming, Amazon Prime Video has staked its claim as one of the top streaming services. As highlighted in our previous Prime Video review, it even made it to our list of best streaming services. But before you decide to commit to a subscription, you'll want to know exactly what you can get with Prime Video.
What kinds of packages are available, and what's the pricing like? More importantly, can you add other Amazon prime channels to your subscription? This article gives you a full breakdown of the channels, packages, and pricing info for Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video is an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service that gives you access to video-on-demand (VOD) content with a monthly or annual subscription. With this subscription, you get to watch thousands of titles at no additional cost using any compatible device.
Besides the free Prime Video titles, Amazon also gives you the option to buy or rent select titles to watch on Prime Video. And you can even add more than 100 premium channels to your subscription for even more content.
While Amazon Prime Video costs nothing for Prime members, non-members can also get it as a standalone service. This standalone subscription for non-members will give you access to Prime Video content and channels, but none of the other shopping perks that come with an Amazon Prime membership, such as two-day free shipping, discounts at Whole Foods Market, exclusive deals, and more.
Amazon Prime Video has a wide selection of channels from third-party providers, some of which even offer live TV programming in addition to on-demand content. And they typically set you back anywhere between $2.99/mo. and $14.99/mo. on top of your Prime Video subscription cost.
These Prime Video channels provide you with the perfect solution to explore more content based on your specific interests because you get to choose from a wide range of categories. Besides entertainment and kids and family programming, you also get sports and outdoor channels, as well as health and wellness content.
Here's a detailed look at some of the top channels on Amazon Prime Video:
You might be familiar with Paramount+ by its old name, CBS All Access. Though it was rebranded, this channel still gives you access to an extensive selection of popular and iconic TV shows, including 1883, Seal Team, NCIS, Star Trek, The Legend of Korra, and more. It also comes with popular movie titles such as World War Z, Team America World Police, Star Trek Beyond, Transformers 5: The Last Knight, and much more.
Paramount+ has also been home to major cinematic releases just weeks after they hit the theaters. The platform will make films like A Quiet Place Part II, Scream (2022), Jackass Forever, and Mission: Impossible 7 available between 35 to 45 days after they premiere on the big screen, so you won't have to wait long to watch at home.
Besides this lineup of on-demand content, the channel also brings you live news and sports programming. So you get to watch news updates through CBS Evening News and Latest Headlines as well as live broadcasts from sports events like the National Women's Soccer League.
Paramount+ will also have access to some National Football League games, as well as the NCAA March Madness tournament for men's and women's college basketball.You can get both the ad-free and ad-supported versions of the channel on Amazon Prime Video. While Paramount+ Essentials costs $4.99/mo. and doesn't include live channels or sports, the commercial-free package will set you back $9.99/mo.
For curious learners, Amazon Prime Video lets you add the CuriosityStream channel to your subscription for an additional $2.99/mo. This channel provides hundreds of original and exclusive documentaries on a wide range of topics, including civilization, crime, history, nature, science, and technology.
Some of the most popular programs on the channel right now include Dangerous Borders, Hidden Killers, Secrets of the Solar System, The Story of Maths, and Today in Africa. And you can even find documentaries featuring big names like David Attenborough, Nick Offerman, and Richard Hammond.
For an extra $4.99/mo., PBS Kids offers a rich lineup of family-friendly movies and shows. This includes animated shows for young kids such as Dinosaur Train, Hero Elementary, Odd Squad, and Zooboomafoo. If you're looking for more iconic titles, PBS Kids doesn't disappoint either with classics like Arthur, Caillou, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, The Berenstain Bears, and more.
If you can't get enough of addictive SHOWTIME series like Yellowjackets, Billions, Chi, Ray Donovan, and Shameless, you could add the channel to your Prime Video subscription. For an additional $10.99/mo., SHOWTIME gives you ad-free access to hit originals and popular TV series as well as iconic and recently-released movies. So you can watch titles like After Yang, The Green Knight, Hereditary, and more.
STARZ is another premium channel you can add to your Amazon Prime Video subscription. The channel costs $8.99/mo. and comes with live and on-demand content in a wide range of categories. The on-demand content lineup includes popular titles like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Venom, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, Don't Breathe 2, and more.
But the best part about this channel is its lineup of critically-acclaimed original content. This includes titles like American Gods, Hightown, Liberty City, Magic City, Outlander, Wrong Man, and much more.
Foodies and home cooks alike will love the Tastemade+ channel on Amazon Prime Video. Available for just $2.99/mo., this channel gives you access to intriguing and informative food-related programming that will show you how to cook or help you discover the stories behind popular cuisines and dishes. So you can binge on shows like All the Pizza, Day of Gluttony, Nadiya's Family Favorites, Quest for the Fest, The Tale of Kitto Katto, and more.
Amazon Prime Video isn't an ad-free service. However, the pre-roll ads, aka the commercials that play before the start of a video, only run occasionally and typically advertise other Prime Video titles. Plus, you can skip them as well, so it doesn't have too much of a negative impact on your streaming experience.
While you don't have the option to get an ad-free version of Amazon Prime Video, some of the third-party channels it offers will have premium streaming capabilities. For instance, channels like SHOWTIME and STARZ will offer an ad-free experience. And Paramount+ will give you an option to either get a limited commercial or a commercial free plan. So if you don't like ad disruptions, you could also add these channels to your Amazon Prime Video subscription.
Some free channels available with Amazon Prime Video, like IMDb TV, require you to watch regular commercial breaks to access their otherwise free content. This experience is similar to watching a show or movie on traditional cable. The good news is that these channels are clearly labeled within the Amazon Prime Video interface, so you know you're about to watch something that is "Free with commercials." If that's a dealbreaker, you can keep scrolling.
While it is not a primary selling point of the platform, Amazon Prime Video has increasingly started to expand its offering for live sports, while it came to an agreement to broadcast some WNBA games. Those games include the Commissioner's Cup, an in-season tournament that the league is hosting.
In addition to WNBA games, Amazon Prime Video offers the ability to subscribe to some premium sports channels that provide access to live sporting events. This includes NBA League Pass, which includes full access to every game of your favorite NBA team or every game in the entire league, depending on your package.
Users can also catch Thursday Night Football games on Amazon Prime Video, thanks to an agreement with the NFL. As of 2022, Amazon Prime Video is the exclusive home of Thursday night games. Viewers can access all 15 of these games for the 2022-2023 season as a part of their Prime Video subscription. This includes the live game and commentary, as well as pre-game and post-game analysis and a half-time show.
If you're a fan of America's favorite pastime, you can subscribe to MLB.TV through Amazon Prime Video. This gives you full access to all the regular season games of your favorite MLB team. Additionally, Amazon has the broadcast rights to some regular-season games that you can watch without a subscription.
Paramount+, a channel that you can subscribe to through Amazon Prime Video, also includes access to some live sports content. This includes soccer, some NFL games, and much of the NCAA March Madness tournament for men's and women's college basketball.
One of the best features of Amazon Prime Video is X-Ray. This allows you to see who is on screen simply by pausing. Amazon's X-Ray technology will identify the actors on screen and allow you to explore other films and shows that they have been in. You can also access biographies, trivia, and bonus video content, all powered by IMDb. It's a handy feature that makes it easy to see who is involved in a show without requiring you to look away from the screen or get out your phone.
Amazon has a surprisingly solid list of original programming that is regularly growing. Popular programming includes the series The Man in the High Castle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Upload, Reacher, The Boys, and more. In 2022, the platform will be welcoming a number of new series, including Elected, Verdict, Outer Range, Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, and much more.
Meanwhile, Amazon Studios has also produced a number of original films that have gained attention and recognition. Films like The Tomorrow War, Coming 2 America, and Jolt are all Amazon originals. Brittany Runs a Marathon won the Audience Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. While the platform is not as well known for its original content as Netflix, it does have a growing library of content available and is likely to continue to expand those offerings over time.
You might have noticed that most of the third-party channels on Amazon Prime Video cost the same as getting them as standalone services. So you might wonder why you should get these channels through Amazon Prime Video if you can't save some money. Adding these channels to your Prime Video subscription makes it easier to keep all your streaming services in one place so you can easily manage and access them.
In addition, although Amazon Prime Video works on most popular devices, not all of them will provide the same experience. For an even more seamless experience, consider using your subscription with Amazon's range of streaming media players such as the Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV Cube. These devices not only provide excellent streaming quality, but they also make it easier to manage all your Amazon subscriptions while putting the company's services front and center.
Amazon Prime Video provides an impressive selection of third-party channels besides its lineup of on-demand videos. But although some of these channels provide a fair bit of live programming such as news and shows, they don't exactly have a lot of sports broadcasts, though the offering there is expanding. Still, sports fans might be unable to catch their favorite team live and in action through these Prime Video channels.
The truth is that Amazon Prime Video and its host of channels can't replace cable for sports fans the way that other services like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV can. And you won't be able to download the app for Peacock, which hosts most of NBCs content these days. While you can catch currently airing CBS shows on Paramount+, you'll be without most local coverage and network shows if you're strictly using Amazon Prime Video (ABC content will also be hard to come by).
If you have come to appreciate live viewing or next-day viewing of your favorite cable shows, cutting the cord completely for Amazon Prime Video may be tough. If you're a more casual viewer and prefer streaming content over network dramas anyway, Prime Video may be all you need to satiate your hunger for new shows and movies.