The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (July 2020)
|Type of business||Division|
Type of site
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Area served||Worldwide (excluding Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria)|
|Users|| 175 million |
(as of April 29, 2021[update])
|Launched||September 7, 2006|
Amazon Prime Video, or simply Prime Video, is a subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming and rental service of Amazon.com, Inc., 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 or licensed to Amazon, as Prime Originals (or Amazon Originals) or Exclusives, with the service also hosting content from other providers, content add-ons, live sporting events, and video rental and purchasing services.
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, such as HBO, Showtime, StarzPlay, and Shudder.
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, 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, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Brazil, 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.
The service debuted on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States. On September 4, 2008, the service was renamed Amazon Video on Demand. As of August 2014 the service is no longer available for downloading purchased instant videos. On February 22, 2011, the service rebranded as Amazon Instant Video and added access to 5,000 movies and TV shows for Amazon Prime members. On September 4, 2012, Amazon signed a deal with pay-TV channel Epix to feature movies on their streaming service, in a move to rival their competitor Netflix. Additionally, in November 2013, Amazon premiered the comedies Alpha House and Betas, which are original series available exclusively online via the Prime Instant Video service. Amazon offered the first three episodes of both series at once for free, with each subsequent episode released weekly thereafter for Prime members.
In February 2014, Amazon announced that the streaming service of its UK subsidiary LoveFilm would be folded into the Instant Video service on February 26, 2014. In January 2015, Transparent became the first show produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award and the first series from a streaming video service to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
In 2015, Amazon launched the Streaming Partners Program (now known as Amazon Channels), a platform allowing subscription-based third-party channels and streaming services to be offered to Amazon Prime subscribers through the Amazon Video platform. These services are separate from the Amazon Video offering, and must be purchased separately. The original launch in the U.S. included services such as Curiosity Stream, Lifetime Movie Club, AMC's Shudder, Showtime, Starz, and others. The service subsequently added other partners, such as HBO and Cinemax, Fandor, PBS Kids, Seeso, Toku and Boomerang.
On July 30, 2015, Amazon announced that they had hired Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May to produce an untitled motoring show for Amazon Prime Video that would later be named The Grand Tour. Neither Jeff Bezos nor Amazon.com had stated how much Clarkson, Hammond, or May are being paid to produce the programme via their production company W. Chump & Sons, but Jeff Bezos stated that the deal was "very expensive, but worth it". The budget for the show has not officially been announced, but Andy Wilman, the former executive producer of Top Gear stated that each episode would have a budget of around £4.5 million, nine times larger than Top Gear's budget. Also in July, Amazon announced plans to expand the service into India.
In September 2015 the word "Instant" was dropped from its title in the US, and it was renamed simply Amazon Video. In November 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was pursuing streaming rights to U.S. professional sports leagues to further differentiate the service.
Amazon announced in November 2016 that it planned to stream The Grand Tour globally, which led to speculation over whether the full Prime Video service would begin a wider international rollout to compete with Netflix. On December 14, 2016, Prime Video expanded into 200 additional countries.
In January 2017, Amazon announced Anime Strike, an anime focused Amazon Channels service. In May 2017, Amazon Channels expanded into Germany and the UK; in the UK, the company reached deals to offer channels from Discovery Communications (including Eurosport), and live/on-demand content from ITV.
In April 2017, Amazon began to make sports-related content acquisitions, first acquiring non-exclusive rights to stream portions of the NFL's Thursday Night Football games during the 2017 NFL season to Prime subscribers in a $50 million deal, replacing a previous deal with Twitter. In August, Amazon acquired the British television rights to the ATP World Tour beginning 2019, replacing Sky Sports. The deal will run until 2023 and will exclusively show all masters 1000 events and 12 500 and 250 series tournaments. Amazon will be the third party pay TV provider for the ATP finals and starting in 2018 for Queens Club and Eastbourne tournaments. The ATP announced a two-year deal in September for Amazon to stream the Next Generation ATP Finals. In November it was announced that Amazon had acquired the British television rights to the US Open for five years from the 2018 edition, for a reported £30 million. Eurosport who owned the pan European rights extended their deal with the US Open but excluded the UK, which was ironic as Amazon had reached a deal with the broadcaster to stream their channels on their station. The ATP additionally announced that Amazon in the US would screen the tennis channel, Tennis TV from 2018.
On January 5, 2018, Amazon announced that Anime Strike and Heera (a second Channel devoted to Indian films and series) would be discontinued as separate services, and that their content would be merged into the main Prime Video library at no additional charge.
In June 2018, it was announced that Amazon had secured the UK rights to broadcast 20 live Premier League football matches from the 2019–20 season on a three-year deal. This will be the first time that the league will be shown on a domestic live streaming service, as opposed to being shown exclusively on television. The deal has since been extended for a further three years until the 2024–25 season.
On March 18, 2021, Prime Video announced that they have renewed their deal to and will be the exclusive broadcaster of Thursday Night Football between the 2022 and 2033 seasons. Because Prime Video is a subscription service, the NFL will require Amazon to have the games syndicated to over-the-air television stations in the local market of the teams.
On May 17, 2021, parent company Amazon entered negotiations to acquire Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. On May 26, 2021, it was officially announced that they would acquire MGM for $8.45 billion, subject to regulatory approvals and other routine closing conditions; with the studio continuing to operate as a label alongside Amazon Studios and Amazon Prime Video.
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.
On March 18, 2020, Thierry Breton, a European commissioner in charge of digital policy of the European Union urged streaming services including Amazon Prime Video to limit their services. The request came as a result of the prevention of Europe's broadband networks from crashing as tens of millions of people start working from home, an outcome of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. According to the EU, the streaming platforms should consider offering only standard definition, rather than high-definition, programs and users should be responsible for their data consumption. On March 20, 2020, Amazon said that they have already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates while also maintaining a quality streaming, "We support the need for careful management of telecom services to ensure they can handle the increased internet demand with so many people now at home full-time due to COVID-19. Prime Video is working with local authorities and Internet Service Providers where needed to help mitigate any network congestion."
Prime Video is available worldwide (except for Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, and Syria). Initially it was available only to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Austria.
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.
This article needs to be updated. The reason given is: There's no content for Prime Video compatibility on the Nintendo Switch.(June 2021)
|Amazon||Kindle Fire||Tablet||1080p||Up to Dolby Atmos support|
|Fire Phone||Smartphone||1080p||N/A||Discontinued on Amazon website|
|Fire TV||Digital media player||Up to 4K Ultra HD||Up to Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Atmos support|||
|Fire TV Stick||Up to 4K Ultra HD|
|Apple||iPhone||Smartphone||Up to 1080p||N/A|
|iPad||Tablet||Up to 4K Ultra HD||Up to loudspeaker support|||
|Apple TV||Digital media player||Up to 4K Ultra HD||Up to Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Atmos||Available on third generation models and newer, Dolby Digital 5.1 on fourth generation or newer, 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos on fifth generation.|||
|Android||Mobile operating system||Varies||Application available on Google Play. Varies through device and version.|||
|LG||2010+ models||Smart television||Only select 2010 LG Smart TV and Blu-ray player models and up|
|Nvidia||Shield TV||Digital media player||Up to 4K Ultra HD|
|Shield TV Pro||Up to 4K Ultra HD|
|Microsoft||Xbox 360||Home video game console||Up to 1080i||Up to Dolby Digital 5.1 support||May vary depending on console specifications and models|
|Xbox One||Up to 1080p||Dolby Atmos support|
|Xbox One S & X||Up to 4K Ultra HD|
|Xbox Series X & S||Up to 4K Ultra HD|
|Nintendo||Wii||480p||Analog stereo||Support discontinued on January 31, 2019|
|Wii U||Up to 1080p||5.1 Linear PCM||Support discontinued on September 26, 2019|||
|Roku||Roku 1||Digital media player||Up to 1080p||HDMI out|||
|Roku 2||Up to 1080p|
|Roku LT||Up to 720p|
|Roku 3||Up to 1080p|
|Roku 4||Up to 4K Ultra HD|
|Samsung||2010+ models||Smart television||Varies||Only select 2010 Samsung Smart TV and Blu-ray player models and up|
|Sony||BRAVIA||2015+ Android TV||Up to 4K Ultra HD||Up to Dolby Digital 7.1|||
|PlayStation 3||Home video game console||Up to 1080p||LCPM Dolby Digital 5.1|||
|PlayStation 4||Up to 1080p||LCPM Dolby Digital 7.1|||
|PlayStation 4 Pro||Up to 4K Ultra HD|||
|PlayStation 5||Up to 4K Ultra HD|
|PlayStation Vita||Handheld game console||nHD||Stereo|
|PlayStation TV||Microconsole||HDMI out||2-channel LCPM|
Awards and nominations
|2017||Diversity in Media Awards||Broadcaster of the Year||Amazon Video UK||Won|
- "Amazon Prime Video subscription". Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Kleinman, Alexis (April 23, 2014). "Amazon Prime Just Got Way Better With A Ton Of Old HBO Shows". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- "Amazon takes full control of Lovefilm". the Guardian. January 20, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
- Sawers, Paul (February 21, 2014). "Amazon Launches Prime Instant Video in UK & Germany". The Next Web. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
- "HuffPost is now a part of Verizon Media". consent.yahoo.com. Retrieved November 6, 2020.[permanent dead link]
- Amazon Prime, Prime is Fast Delivery and More, Looking for the Prime Video Monthly Membership? "After your free trial, Prime Video is just £5.99/month. You can cancel your membership at any time". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- Lawler, Ryan (June 10, 2013). "Amazon's LOVEFiLM Pulls Its Subscription DVD And Streaming Service Out Of Scandinavia". TechCrunch.
- Benjamin Mayo (April 18, 2016). "Video streaming race heats up, Amazon now offers its Prime Video service independent of Prime subscription for $8.99/mo". 9to5Mac.
- "Amazon Prime Video Now Available in More Than 200 Countries and Territories Around the World". phx.corporate-ir.net. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- "Amazon.com Launches Amazon Unbox(TM), a Digital Video Download Service with DVD-Quality Picture". Amazon.com Media Relations. September 7, 2006. Archived from the original on January 25, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Amazon Customers Can Now Instantly Watch Ad-Free Movies and TV Shows on Macs, PCs and Compatible Sony BRAVIA Televisions Starting Today on Amazon Video On Demand". corporate-ir.net.
- "Amazon.com Help: Amazon Instant Video". amazon.com.
- Christina Warren (February 22, 2011). "HANDS ON: Amazon's Prime Instant Video". Mashable. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "Amazon Prime Members Now Get Unlimited, Commercial-free, Instant Streaming of More Than 5,000 Movies and TV Shows at No Additional Cost". corporate-ir.net.
- "Amazon Adds Movies to Streaming Service in New Challenge to Netflix". AdAge. September 4, 2012.
- "Amazon's Original Series "Alpha House" Debuts Friday". The Motley Fool. Associated Press. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Mark Sweney (February 21, 2014). "Amazon takes on Netflix with rebrand of LoveFilm video-on-demand service". The Guardian. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- Mance, Henry (February 21, 2014). "Amazon finds less passionate name for Lovefilm streaming service". Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- "AMAZON.COM ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER SALES UP 15% TO $29.33 BILLION" (XBRL). United Securities and Exchange Commission. January 29, 2015.
- Lunden, Ingrid (December 8, 2015). "Amazon Makes A Bid For Cord Cutters, Adds Showtime, Starz And More Streaming Partners To Prime". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Lunden, Ingrid (May 23, 2017). "Amazon expands Amazon Channels to UK, Germany, taking aim at pay-TV users". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Spangler, Todd (December 1, 2016). "HBO, Cinemax Now Available on Amazon Prime's Channels Program". Variety. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Hilary Osborne (August 16, 2015). "Amazon boss says Jeremy Clarkson's Top Gear follow-on show 'expensive but worth it'". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- "Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's new Amazon Prime show has an absolutely insane budget". independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Jayadevan PK; Pankaj Mishra (July 20, 2015). "Amazon readies $5 billion chest for bigger play in India, to launch subscription-based ecommerce services". Economic Times. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
- Soper, Taylor (September 4, 2015). "Amazon drops 'Instant' from 'Instant Video,' streamlining its streaming brand". GeekWire. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Spangler, Todd (November 21, 2016). "Amazon Wants Live-Streaming Sports Rights for Prime Video, but What Will It Really Be Able to Secure?". Variety. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Shalini, Ramachandran (November 22, 2016). "Amazon Explores Possible Premium Sports Package With Prime Membership: Has held talks for live game rights with leagues including NBA, MLB, NFL and MLS". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Crum, Rex (November 22, 2016). "Biz Break: Amazon's looking at adding live sports to Prime video service". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Jon Russel (November 17, 2016). "Amazon Prime Video is finally going global to give Netflix some serious competition". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- Ingram, Matthew (November 18, 2016). "Amazon Is Gunning for Netflix With Global Launch of Prime Video". Fortune.com. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
- Natalie Jarvey (December 14, 2016). "Amazon Takes Video Streaming Service Global in Challenge to Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Spangler, Todd (January 12, 2017). "Amazon Launches Anime Channel for $5 Per Month, Its First Branded Subscription Channel". Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Sweney, Mark (May 23, 2017). "Amazon steps up battle with Netflix and Sky by adding new UK channels". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Scott Soshnick (April 17, 2017). "Amazon's NFL Deal Includes $30 Million in Free Marketing". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- Sweney, Mark (August 1, 2017). "Amazon outbids Sky to win exclusive ATP tour tennis rights". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- "ATP And ATP Media Expand Partnership With Amazon Prime Video - ATP World Tour - Tennis".
- "ATP And ATP Media Partner With Amazon Prime Video To Deliver Global Coverage Of The Next Gen ATP Finals - Next Gen ATP Finals".
- Rumsby, Ben (November 15, 2017). "Amazon continues foray into tennis broadcasting with UK rights to US Open for next five years" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Liao, Shannon (January 5, 2018). "Amazon closes Anime Strike and includes exclusive anime in Prime Video". The Verge. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
- "Premier League TV rights: Amazon to show 20 matches a season from 2019-2022". BBC News. June 7, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
- "Premier League agrees TV rollover deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
- Sweney, Mark (November 21, 2017). "Amazon's $1bn bet on Lord of the Rings shows scale of its TV ambition" – via www.theguardian.com.
- "NFL announces new broadcast deals running through 2033 season". NFL.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
- "NFL completes long-term media distribution agreements through 2033 season". NFL.com. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
- Spangler, Todd (May 17, 2021). "Amazon Said to Make $9 Billion Offer for MGM". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
- "Guardian cartoon of cow in relation to Priti Patel sparks outrage amongst diaspora in Britain". The Hindu. March 9, 2020. Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
- Edwards, Luke (July 17, 2014). "Amazon is going 4K and bringing Prime Instant Video to Android". Pocket-lint.
- "EU warns of broadband strain as millions work from home". Financial Times. San Francisco. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
- "YouTube, Amazon and Netflix cut picture quality in Europe". Financial Times. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
- Patrick, Nick (December 3, 2014). "Where Can You Get Amazon Prime Video?". Stream Sidekick. Archived from the original on October 14, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- Filme und Serien kaufen, Amazon.de. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
- "Supported Devices & Features". Prime Video: Help. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Ramstad, Jordan (April 18, 2019). "Prime Video Is Coming To Android TV, YouTube Returning To Fire TV". Android Headlines. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "Amazon to Stop Selling Apple TV and Chromecast". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "Amazon to Ban Sale of Apple, Google Video-Streaming Devices". Bloomberg News. October 1, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
- "Amazon Is Banning Apple TV and Chromecast. And That's Gross". Wired. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "Amazon Prime Video comes to Apple TV, finally". The Verge. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- "Prime Video is on Chromecast and Android TV, plus YouTube on Fire TV". Retrieved October 12, 2020.
- Welch, Chris (April 18, 2019). "YouTube is finally coming back to Amazon's Fire TV devices". The Verge. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
- "Amazon Fire TV". amazon.com.
- Laura Owen (September 17, 2013). "Amazon's Instant Video iOS app now lets you stream to Apple TV via AirPlay". Gigaom.com. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "Amazon.com Help: Amazon Video Device Features". www.amazon.com.
- "Amazon Prime Video app rolling out to Apple TV App Store". 9to5Mac. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Sarah Perez (September 9, 2014). "Amazon Brings Prime Instant Video To All Android Phones In US, UK And Germany". TechCrunch.
- Lardinois, Frederic (May 29, 2012). "Amazon Instant Video Comes to Xbox 360".
- Roku. "Roku - Streaming TV & Media Player". Roku.
- "Sony Electronics Offers Extensive 4K Ultra HD Home Entertainment Solutions with New 2015 TV Lineup".
- Buser, Jack (April 3, 2012). "PS3: The First Console to Offer Amazon Instant Video". PlayStation.blog. Retrieved June 15, 2012.