Amazon Prime Video has launched around the world, including in South Africa.
Like Netflix, South Africans are billed in US dollars and receive access to a subset of the streaming service’s complete catalogue.
A subscription to Amazon Prime Video is $2.99 for the first six months, and $5.99 thereafter.
You are able to stream three different titles at the same time using a single Amazon account and you can stream in SD, HD, or UHD – depending on the video you are watching and your Internet connection.
Price and feature comparison
Where Amazon offers a single price point for its service, Netflix uses a tiered structure.
|Variable||Amazon Prime Video||Netflix Basic||Netflix Standard||Netflix Premium|
|Price||$5.99 ($2.99 × 6 months)||$7.99||$9.99||$11.99|
What you get
Comparing the number of titles on Amazon to those on Netflix in South Africa is difficult.
Various measures exist to count the number of titles on Netflix, such as the cataloguing services provided by JustWatch and uNoGS, but the number of shows available on Amazon in South Africa is not clearly defined.
JustWatch estimates the number of titles on Netflix in South Africa to be around 1,400.
An accurate count of the number of titles on Amazon Prime Video in South Africa was not detailed by the services. Amazon also does not detail its local content library in full.
It lists all titles in its catalogue in the client portal, but you only find out whether a show is available in your region after you try to play it.
This makes for a poor user experience, to say the least. Based on our limited testing, 12 of the shows listed on Amazon Prime Video are available in South Africa.
At the time of writing, none of the movies I clicked on – including Amazon Originals – would play.
For the moment, even though Amazon Prime Video is significantly cheaper than Netflix, its value proposition is not as good.
At $2.99 for the next six months, it’s not too bad if you’re interested in The Grand Tour and several others Amazon Originals that are available in South Africa.
However, if Amazon doesn’t improve the quality of the service dramatically by the time The Grand Tour ends, it shouldn’t expect many people to stick around for the price hike.