How to Use Amazon Prime Video

Movies and custom shows are yours with a Prime subscription

What to Know

  • Go to the Amazon website and select Prime Video. Browse videos and choose Play to start watching.
  • You can also tap an icon to see a trailer or add the movie or TV show to your watchlist.
  • Prime Video comes with Amazon Prime, or you can pay for a separate subscription.

This article explains how to get and use Amazon Prime Video on a web browser or mobile device.

Signing Up For Amazon Prime Video

You already have Prime Video access if you subscribe to Amazon Prime for free shipping and other benefits. A Prime account costs $139 per year or $14.99 per month.

If you don't have an Amazon Prime account and don't want one, you can sign up for an Amazon Prime Video-only account. Go to the Amazon Prime website and sign up for a 30-day free trial, or subscribe for $8.99 per month. Then watch videos on the Prime Video app or the Amazon website.

To sign up for the free trial, enter your Amazon log in credentials (or sign up if you don't have an Amazon account) and include a valid credit card. You can cancel the trial anytime during the 30 days. If you don't cancel, Amazon will start billing you for Amazon Prime. Monthly and discounted yearly plans are available.

How to Stream Prime Shows and Movies on a Browser

You can use Prime Video to stream movies and television shows on a web browser. You need a device that can stream video, a broadband internet connection, and a compatible web browser. Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge are all compatible.

Here's how to stream videos with Prime Video:

  1. Go to the Amazon website and select Prime Video.

    Prime Video selected in the menu bar
  2. Scroll movies and shows. The Prime banner in the upper-left corner of each show indicates the show is included free without ads. The Ads banner indicates the show is free, but includes ads.

    Prime Video showing Prime and Ads banners
  3. Hover the mouse or cursor over any movie or show to open an information box containing a synopsis, rating, and short video preview.

    An information window for a movie in Amazon Prime Video
  4. Select Play to start watching immediately, or tap an icon to see a trailer or add your choice to a watchlist.

    In information box for a movie with the Play icon highlighted
  5. Tap anywhere else in the information box to go to the full page for the movie or show in Prime Video.

How to Watch Amazon Prime Video on Mobile Devices

You can also stream movies and television shows through Prime Video using the Prime Video app. There are a few cosmetic changes from the web version and between devices, and there's no preview window. You just tap the movie or show icon to go to its page. The Prime banner isn't blue in the app, but there is a banner.

This is how the Prime Video app looks on an iPad:

The Prime Video app on an iPad

Here's where you can get the free Prime Video app:

What Are Amazon Originals?

Amazon Originals are exclusive videos that you can only stream from Prime Video. Amazon produces and buys the rights to various feature films, television shows, and documentaries.

A screenshot of Amazon Originals.

Amazon Originals are similar to Netflix and Hulu originals, since you have to subscribe to a service to watch them. The main difference is that Amazon typically releases its movies in theaters before making them available for streaming, which has allowed Amazon films to win Oscars and other awards.

What Are Prime Video Channels?

In addition to all the free content that Prime Video includes, the service also allows you to sign up for add-on channels. These are primarily premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz, but you can also subscribe to Paramount+ and many other services through Amazon Channels.

Most Amazon Prime Video Channels provide a free trial period, so you can check them out before paying. After that, Amazon charges you a monthly fee for each channel.

Amazon Channels include on-demand content, so signing up for HBO or Showtime gives you access to HBO or Showtime's original shows through Prime Video.

Some Amazon Channels also give you access to a live feed of the channel, which is the other way you can watch live television on Prime Video. You can access both on-demand and live content from Amazon Channels through the same website and apps you use for Prime Video.

Can You Rent Movies From Amazon Prime Video?

In addition to the thousands of movies and television episodes included for free with Prime Video, Amazon also provides access to a massive library of paid content.

A screenshot of Amazon Video showing movies to rent or buy.

You can rent digital downloads of movies and television episodes from Amazon or buy them to keep forever. Rentals and purchases don't require an Amazon Prime membership. If you are a Prime member, you use the same interface, account, and billing information to rent and buy digital movies as Prime Video.

If you don't see the Prime banner on the thumbnail of a movie or TV show on Amazon Video, that means you can buy or rent it.

What's Included With Amazon Prime Video?

Prime Video includes access to thousands of movies and television episodes you can stream on demand. Like Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, Prime Video offers a mixture of movies and television shows from big studios and networks along with original content. Amazon offers some content that you'll see on other services, but it also has movies and television shows that are exclusively available to stream through Prime Video.

The service also produces original movies and television shows. These are known as Amazon Originals and are only available to stream through Prime Video. Prime Video also includes "Freevee" TV shows that are available free with ads as well as in-theater new releases for rent or to buy.

Watch Amazon Prime via your web browser, a mobile app on your phone or tablet, or on your television with a game console or television streaming device.

Go to in a browser to see all available categories, movies and TV shows that are available.

Amazon Prime Video showing categories and genres

You can watch a limited amount of live television on Prime Video, including sporting events and live music concerts. Look for them on the Live and Upcoming row of the Prime Video home screen.

  • Is Amazon Prime Video a Cable Replacement for Cord Cutters?

    Prime Video isn't suitable as a cable replacement for cord-cutters because it doesn't have live television. Services like Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu With Live TV include live feeds from the major networks and cable channels in addition to on-demand content.

  • How does buying a TV series on Amazon Prime work?

    Go to the series page > select the season number > Buy Season and confirm the purchaseClick or tap More purchase options to choose between multiple formats, such as high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD)or purchase an individual episode.

  • How does Amazon Prime work with Apple TV?

    To watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV, download the Amazon Prime app from the App Store unless your TV comes preinstalled with Prime. Open the Amazon Prime app and log in to stream free content, rent or buy movies and shows, and subscribe to premium channels.

Was this page helpful?