Amazon Prime Video: Price, features and content compared
Online retail giant Amazon shifted into the video streaming market in 2011 and went global with the service in late 2016. Here's what you need to know to watch in Australia.
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What's in this guide?
Amazon wasn't oblivious to the benefits of streaming. As far back as 2006, Amazon offered video rental and download services like iTunes, but in 2011 it launched Amazon Prime Instant Video in the US, a streaming platform offering a huge range of content to customers of its $99/year Amazon Prime service. But it wasn't until December 2016 that Amazon's streaming efforts really became relevant for Australians.
Timed around the launch of the spiritual Top Gear successor The Grand Tour, Amazon took Prime Video global to 200 countries around the world, including Australia. While global licensing arrangements meant that the line-up of content at launch was not as extensive as Netflix or Stan. Amazon's publicly announced significant investment in original series and acquisition of other broadcasters' content has made Prime Video a big player in streaming.
Does Prime Video have a free trial?
Amazon Prime Video content
As we mentioned earlier Prime Video is committed to creating high-quality original content. Some of the originals it has produced includes Jack Ryan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fleabag, Star Trek: Picard, Modern Love and more.
Though it isn't just originals in Prime Video's library. There are thousands of shows and movies from third parties. Prime Video even obtained the global broadcast rights for Borat 2. Check out our list of Prime Video's best shows and movies.
Prime Video is also exploring developing some local Australian content. This began with the release of Cricket Australia docuseries The Test and there are plans to jump onto an AFL docuseries. Amazon has also announced a reboot of Packed to the Rafters.
How much does Amazon Prime Video cost in Australia?
There was plenty of discussion around how much Amazon Prime Video might cost when it went global late in 2016. Fortunately for Australians, Amazon has decided to be rather aggressive with its pricing strategy for its streaming video platform.
In June 2018, Amazon launched its full-blown Amazon Prime service in Australia. An Amazon Prime subscription includes not only Amazon Prime Video access but free and expedited shipping on a number of products from Amazon Australia. A subscription to Amazon Prime will set you back $6.99/month.
You can also try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days. You can register for your free trial with your Amazon account, which will be automatically charged at the end of the 30-day trial.
FREE TRIAL: 30 days of Prime Video's premium TV shows and movies for free from Prime Video
Prime Video's free 30-day trial will give you instant access to thousands of premium TV shows and movies.View details
What devices are compatible with Amazon Prime Video?
The fact Amazon Prime Video has been active in some markets for years before its global launch means that there's a solid line-up of devices you can use to access the service. In addition to the standard web browser, there are dedicated apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. For iOS you'll need to be running iOS 7 or above, while Android users will need Android 4.0 or above.
Being that Amazon also plays in the hardware space, it's not surprising to learn that its range of Amazon Fire tablets also support Prime Video streaming. While initially not available in Australia, you're now able to stream through the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Xbox One. You can access the service via popular LG and Samsung smart TVs though if you own them.
If you do want the full smart TV experience for Amazon Prime Video in Australia, you'll need to ensure you own one of the compatible LG or Samsung smart TVs. There's also no native support for Chromecast. You can cast your screen to the big screen on Android devices, but native support is much better for your mobile's battery life. Still, it's still early days for Prime Video's global expansion, so it wouldn't be surprising to find the compatible device list improve consistently over time.
In July 2020, Amazon also launched a Prime Video dedicated app available on the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 devices (including desktop PCs, laptops and tablets). Using the new Windows app, subscribers can stream content online or download Prime Video content for offline viewing on their device.
How much data will Amazon Prime Video use?
Amazon's streaming app has a pretty robust range of streaming-quality settings in its mobile applications, although the settings are different depending on the device you use. On Android, you can only get a SD video stream. The best quality setting will use about 460MB for 1 hour of content, while the data-conscious can be miserly by selecting the Data Saver option, which uses about 140MB per hour of streaming.
You also have the option of always using the best quality setting when connected to Wi-Fi. iOS users, meanwhile, will use a lot more data streaming Prime Video. The best quality setting for Apple devices will use 5.8GB per hour, while the good setting still manages to chew through double the data of its Android counterpart at 600MB per hour. Here's a breakdown of the approximate data use for an hour's worth of streaming across the operating systems and quality settings:
Amazon does also allow users to download videos for offline viewing, with files taking up about the same amount of space on your device as the streaming settings. You can change the quality setting at any time on your mobile device by heading into the settings menu and choosing the streaming and download quality within the app. As with streaming, the amount of storage you can expect a file to take up varies between iOS and Android devices. Here are the numbers provided by Amazon within the iOS and Android apps:
As with all the other streaming services though, those rates are indicative. If you're streaming and your connection can't deliver the best quality stream, it will adapt to give you the best quality it can under the conditions, capped at the setting you've chosen.
Amazon Prime Video frequently asked questions
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