A relatively new entrant to the streaming market, Amazon has taken advantage of a hybrid streaming model and their strength in the delivery market to seriously challenge for Netflix’s crown. They offer the most extensive content library available on UK shores.
Amazon Prime Video UK Review
Starting out as a book delivery service in Jeff Bezos’ garage, Amazon has grown to become the world’s most valuable company. A core part of this has been Amazon’s streaming service, Amazon Prime, which has grown quickly to rival market leaders Netflix in several global markets. Amazon Prime UK offers four times the content of Netflix UK, doing so through a combined streaming and on-demand model. Through offering Amazon Prime membership, they’ve also offered something relatively unique on the telecommunications landscape: a streaming and delivery bundle.
It’s a mark of respect to Amazon that the company is constant being compared with Netflix, given the way the latter company defined and continues to re-define streaming. Amazon has however started to blaze its own trail; Amazon Prime is one of the more unique and extensive bundles available on the UK telecommunications landscape.
Amazon took over LoveFilm in 2011, turning it into Amazon Prime Instant. The new company focused on streaming, building its library to be much larger than its major competitor Netflix. Unlike Netflix, they offer traditional streaming along with ‘on demand’ content like movies and television shows. And like Netflix, they’ve started producing original content, with shows like Transparent and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel picking up popular and critical acclaim.
What makes Amazon Prime unique?
Streaming is all the rage now, but there are very few streaming services with the extensive content library of Amazon. Even better, there are few which can bundle in their content with Amazon Prime, effectively getting you access to faster delivery and Amazon’s music streaming service for roughly the same price as a yearly membership with Netflix.
Then there’s the content. While the shows available on any streaming service at any given time are likely to change, Amazon has started to follow Netflix’s lead by producing exclusive and original content. Although the Amazon library isn’t as extensive or well-renowned as Netflix, some of the Amazon originals and exclusive content in the UK includes Mr Robot, American Gods, Black Sails and the Man in the High Tower.
Amazon Prime has also sought to differentiate themselves by going ‘high tech’. Unlike Netflix, which charges more for high and ultra-high definition, Amazon provides a whole host of programs in 4K Ultra HD – all that you need to do is have a device that can run it. Another area where Amazon is unique is the ‘X-Ray’ function, which connects you to information about the actors, writers and directors in a scene, along with other content from IMDB that you can nerd out on while streaming.
Amazon Prime Plans and Pricing
Unlike Netflix, which has three different types of subscription based on picture quality and the number of screens that can watch at the one time, Amazon has basically two different offerings: Amazon Video and Amazon Prime. The video-only option is the cheapest and is available monthly, however it doesn’t come with the perks of Amazon Prime.
By taking Amazon Prime, you’ll get yourself the video service as well as one-day delivery, unlimited photo storage and ad-free music streaming. Given that Amazon Prime is only a couple of bucks more per month, it seems like a better deal. There’s also the option to go long term and sign up for a one-year Amazon Prime membership, which works out to be cheaper per month – although of course it might be less suitable if you don’t want to be bound to a long contract. Prime membership also gets you access to Lightning Deals.
Whichever option you choose, each comes with the first month free. This is great for putting your toe in the water to get an idea if it is for you. Then there’s Amazon’s student package – called Amazon Prime Student – which gives you a six-month free trial followed by a discount monthly rate which is roughly half of what you’d pay for the full monthly subscription. While we aren’t sure exactly how good this deal will be for your study outcomes, it’ll certainly keep you entertained.
Amazon Prime Services
If you sign up to Amazon’s streaming service, you’re effectively signing up to Amazon Prime. This means while you’ll be getting access to Amazon’s video streaming service – with an extensive library and an on-demand paid service for further films and TV series – you’ll also be getting next-day delivery, free eBooks and access to Amazon’s music streaming service.
What Devices are compatible with Amazon Prime?
By and large, Amazon Prime is compatible with all of your devices: You can hook it up to a Smart TV, laptop, smartphone, tablet etc. It took Amazon a little longer to guarantee compatibility than competitor Netflix, with Google Chromecast, Roku TV and Apple TV lacking an Amazon Instant Video app until recently. There’s usually a way around it – users have been using their phones to navigate their TV players – although this is of course not ideal.
Users commonly report that Netflix’s app is easier to use and more visually stimulating, although Amazon continues to improve theirs. And while not all of Amazon’s content is viewable offline, plenty of it is. Simply download it to watch later. This is great for travelling in case you don’t know the licensing situation in your destination country, or if you’re worried about your data usage.
UK Content on Amazon
With a library around four times the size of Netflix UK, it stands to reason that Amazon has their fair share of British content. The on-demand section has loads of home-grown film and television content at your fingertips, while the streaming component also has plenty of British content – including some exclusive content. Downton Abbey, which for many Americans is the most British show on American TV, is available on Amazon and not on Netflix.
Amazon customer service and support
Get in touch with Amazon on 0800 496 1081 or hit them up via the live chat function. They’ve also got a relatively extensive set of FAQs on their site.
Amazon Prime Video: Pros and Cons
Amazon Summary: Prime yourself for great streaming and a whole lot more
As we’ve pointed out elsewhere, bundling is a great way to save money and make things more convenient – and when it comes to bundling, there’s nothing quite like Amazon Prime. While there were some initial teething problems – particularly with compatibility – Amazon has caught up to Netflix in many ways. Whichever streaming provider you choose is bound to have a lot to do with the specific shows you like to watch, but Amazon’s continual expansion of its original content means it’s fast closing the gap.