Big announcements last week from shopping behemoth Amazon revealed a couple of new attempts to get you to subscribe up to Amazon Prime. I’ve taken a look to see if it’s worth ditching the likes of Netflix and Spotify by switching.
First came the news of Amazon Prime Music, instant streaming of more than one million tunes. The next day the smug mugs of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were everywhere, unveiled as its latest original TV additions with an online Top Gear-esque show.
These could be big draws. So how do they stack up?
Amazon Prime Instant Video
The Top Gear team’s new show is only going to appeal to big fans, though along with a Woody Allen series, it’s a sign Amazon are upping their game with original TV.
However, signing up now won’t help as both shows don’t launch until next year.
In the meantime there are original shows like Transparent which are worth a watch.
Otherwise the movie and box set selection is a big disappointment. I’ve had the free trial for the last fortnight and only watched one film, but plenty more on Netflix and NOW TV.
Winner? Watching better films and box sets on Netflix or NOW TV
>> read my rules for saving with streaming
Amazon Prime Music
If you pay £10 a month for Spotify (you don’t have to – here’s how to get the £5 student price), the idea of £6.60 a month, albeit with a 12 month subscription, sounds good.
However the library is much smaller. The gaps in the catalogue of one million songs really shows up when you browse Spotify.
Apple Music, Google Play and Deezer also offer three month free trials, so they’re a better options to try first.
And don’t forget you can get Spotify for free with adverts. I listen to new music this way and top up for a month of premium here and there.
Winner? Listen to the odd advert or taking free trials elsewhere
Free next day delivery
You get free next day delivery on Amazon purchases, which is handy if you buy a lot and often. You don’t even need to spend £20 to get it free.
However there are other ways to get free delivery, and I’m sure in most cases you can wait a few days extra to get your goods.
Winner? Waiting a few days
>> my trick to get free delivery from Amazon
Kindle lending library
This isn’t a bad shout if you get through a few books. You can borrow one book a month. It might not have THE book you want, but there will certainly be a book you want to read.
Of course you don’t keep the book, though in the digital age it’s not like you can display your faves on your bookshelf.
There isn’t really a competitor if you have a Kindle, though other formats can borrow e-books from their local library.
Winner? Buying the e-books you want to read
Amazon Prime member deals
This is something the other services can’t offer. The recent Amazon Prime Day was exclusive to anyone signed up (though the free trial counted) and it’s likely more special deals will appear.
However, the Prime Day was a bit of a disappointment.
Winner? Not buying things because they’re on offer
So, is Amazon Prime worth it?
For me, it’s an easy no. Amazon Prime costs £79 a year, which is £6.58 a month (or £6.07 when you factor in the free trial).
Yes it’s cheaper than a seperate TV and music streaming service, but I think you’re getting a lower standard. Until more music and better new TV appears, you’ll just be disappointed.
You also have to commit to 12 months. With all the other streaming sites you can pay month by month, meaning you can switch between them or stop completely if you’re on hols or busy.
My advice is sign up for the 30 day trial when you have something to watch or need quick delivery. You are allowed a free trial every 12 months, and if you’ve more than one person in your home they can also have the trial.
The only caveat is if you’re a student. You lucky folks can get a six month free trial and half price after that. Which seems a pretty good offer.