Amazon Prime Video in South Africa – What you get for R114 per month

Netflix, Showmax, and Amazon Prime Video are three big names when it comes to subscription streaming services in South Africa.

Prime Video, however, comes in third place in terms of popularity.

This does not mean it is a bad service, and we have detailed what you get for your money, below.

Prime Video interface

The Prime Video interface will be familiar to those who have used Netflix or Showmax before.

It uses a simple tile layout where each row of tiles shows content from specific categories.

For example, on the home page, categories include:

  • Amazon Original series
  • Recommended movies
  • Recommended TV
  • Comedy movies
  • Top TV
  • Comedy TV
  • Kids and family movies

There are tabs at the top of the page which also let you filter content into three categories – TV Shows, Movies, and Kids – along with a search bar.

TV shows

We found that most of the more recognizable and popular TV shows on Prime Video were older classics, as opposed to platforms like Showmax and Netflix which focus heavily on modern TV series.

These show names included Two and a Half Men, House, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Whose Line is it Anyway, Mr Bean, Law and Order, CSA, NCIS, and Heroes.

Like Netflix, however, Amazon does offer originals – the most notable of which is almost certainly The Grand Tour.

Other originals included Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Fleabag, The Man in the High Castle, American Gods, and Good Omens.

Other noteworthy originals included The Test and the Jordan Peele-produced Hunters.

In terms of quantity, Prime Video has significantly more TV shows than Showmax, but Netflix leads the trio of streaming services in this regard.

Movies

Big movie fans may have more appreciation for some of the Amazon Prime titles, but to me, there were relatively few recognisable movies to choose from.

Some of those which I did recognise included Mr and Mrs Smith, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Shrek, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Knight and Day, Lucy, Big Momma’s House, The Cat in the Hat, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

What was particularly striking in this catalogue, however, was the lack of recent blockbuster movies compared to Netflix.

It was also notable that the only South African content I spotted across the movies and TV shows was a documentary about Oscar Pistorius.

It should be noted, however, that in terms of sheer volume, Prime Video offers a much larger number of movies than Netflix and Showmax.

Pricing

Unlike Netflix and Showmax, Prime Video is charged in US dollars. At $5.99 per month, this was R114 at the time of writing.

This allows users to stream up to three titles at the same time using the same account, and you may stream the same show on no more than two devices at a time.

You will also be able to stream in up to 4K resolution, depending on your Internet connection

Netflix, in contrast, allows you to use two screens at a time at up to 1080p for R139 per month, or four screens at a time at up to 4K for R169 per month.

Showmax costs R99 per month and allows you to use two screens at the same time at up to 1080p quality.


Content count

The table below shows the content available on the streaming platforms in South Africa, based on figures from JustWatch.

Prime Video vs Netflix vs Showmax
Netflix Showmax Prime Video
Movies 3,303 1286 10,606
TV Series 1,580 761 1,173

Pricing

The table below shows the pricing of the streaming services.

Prime Video vs Netflix vs Showmax
Package Concurrent Viewings Quality Price
Netflix Basic 1 SD R99
Netflix Standard 2 Full HD R139
Netflix Premium 4 4K R169
Showmax 2 HD R99
Prime Video 3 4K $5.99

Now read: The most popular movies and series in South Africa during lockdown

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Amazon Prime Video in South Africa – What you get for R114 per month