Amazon Prime Video, also known simply as Prime Video, is an American subscription video-on-demand over-the-top streaming and rental service of Amazon offered as a standalone service or as part of Amazon’s Prime subscription. The service primarily distributes films and television series produced by Amazon Studios and MGM Holdings or licensed to Amazon, as Amazon Originals, with the service also hosting content from other providers, content add-ons, live sporting events, and video rental and purchasing services.
More About Amazon Prime Video
Operating worldwide, the service may require a full Prime subscription to be accessed. In countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, the service can be accessed without a full Prime subscription, whereas in Australia, Canada, France, India, Turkey, and Italy, it can only be accessed through a dedicated website.
Prime Video additionally offers a content add-on service in the form of channels, called Amazon Channels, or Prime Video Channels, which allow users to subscribe to additional video subscription services from other content providers within Prime Video.
Launched on September 7, 2006, as Amazon Unbox in the United States, the service grew with an expanding library and added the Prime Video membership upon the development of the Prime subscription. It was then renamed as Amazon Instant Video on Demand. After acquiring the UK-based streaming and DVD-by-mail service LoveFilm in 2011, Prime Video was added to the Prime subscription in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria in 2014, available on a monthly subscription of £/€7.99 per month, continuing the plan of LoveFilm Instant. The service was previously available in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden in 2012, but was discontinued in 2013. On April 18, 2016, Amazon split Prime Video from Amazon Prime in the US for $8.99 per month.
On December 14, 2016, Prime Video launched worldwide (except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria) expanding its reach beyond the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and Japan. Among the new territories, the service was included with Prime in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Turkey and Spain, while for all other countries, it was made available for a monthly promotional price of $/€2.99 per month for the first six months and $/€5.99 per month thereafter.
Amazon Prime Video Availability And Requirements
Prime Video is available worldwide (except for Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Syria). Initially, it was available only to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Austria.
DEVICES: The service supports online streaming via web player, as well as apps on Amazon Fire-branded devices, and supported third-party mobile devices, digital media players (particularly Roku), video game consoles, and smart TVs. An Android TV app is also available, which was initially exclusive to Sony Bravia smart TVs running Android TV, and Nvidia Shield.
Amazon had historically withheld support for Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast platform. In October 2015, the company banned the sale of these devices on its online marketplace because they do not support the Prime Video ecosystem. This led to critics arguing that Amazon was displaying protectionism against devices that could be competitors to its own Fire TV products.
However, in December 2017, Amazon released an Apple TV app for Prime Video, and announced in April 2019 that it would add Chromecast support to the Prime Video mobile app and perform a wider release of Prime Video’s Android TV app. This was delivered in July 2020 as part of concessions to restore access to YouTube on Fire TV devices after a related feud with Google.
Amazon Prime Video Websites
In some countries where Amazon Video is available and movies/television shows can be purchased or rented, Prime Video is offered on the local Amazon website (e.g. amazon.com, amazon.de, amazon.co.uk etc.).
Although a local Amazon website might be available, the full range of digital content services (e.g. Amazon Music, Amazon Video, Kindle Store) might not be available in that particular country (e.g. amazon.in, amazon.sg, amazon.com.tr etc.). In other countries where Amazon Video is unavailable and movies/television shows cannot be purchased or rented, Prime Video is offered as a standalone service on a separate website.
In Brazil, a similar Amazon Video was launched, but under the name Loja Prime Video (“Prime Video Shop”), and for renting of movies only.
|Country||Amazon Video||Prime Video||Domain name|
|France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Netherlands, Canada||Buy/Rent||Streaming||primevideo.com|
|Other Countries (including Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines)||No||Streaming||primevideo.com|
Amazon Prime Video’s Video Quality
Depending on the device, Amazon supports up to 4K (UHD) and High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) streaming. UHD/HDR rolled out with its original content. Other titles support 1080p (HD) streaming with 5.1 Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus audio, with Dolby Atmos coming soon to certain titles. For titles available for purchase (and not included in a customer’s Amazon Prime subscription), the HD option is often offered at an additional price.
|Type of business||Division|
|Type of site||OTT streaming platform|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Area served||Worldwide (excluding Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Syria)|
|Industry||Entertainment, mass media|
|Products||Streaming media, video on demand, digital distribution|
|Services||Film production, Film distribution, Television production, Television distribution|
(as of September 3, 2022)
|Launched||September 7, 2006; 16 years ago|