There are plenty of video streaming services to choose from these days, and in Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video, you’ve got two of the biggest services looking to gain your monthly subscription.
While both cover similar ground, they’re not an identikit of each other, which makes it easier for us to describe the differences between them. So if you’re looking for a new subscription, wanting to replace an old one or perhaps even add another to your current selection, here are the differences between Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Despite going up in price in 2022, Apple TV+ is still one of the cheaper video streaming services available. You can pay for a monthly subscription or choose to pay for an entire year, the latter option will help save some money.
Apple TV+ costs £6.99 / $6.99 a month or £69.99 / $69.99 for a year. There’s also the option of a three-month free trial for anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV or Mac.
Prime Video follows the same idea with monthly and annual options. Choose the former and it’s a couple pounds/dollars extra at £8.99/ $8.99 a month or pick the latter and it is £95 for a year, which is roughly a saving of about £1 / $1 a month. There is the option of folding the Prime Video subscription in with an Amazon Prime subscription, which will get you free delivery and other perks such as Amazon Music and Gaming.
Apple TV+ is the cheaper option but what about content and features. Keep reading to find out more differences between the two streaming services.
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We mention it in every versus for video streaming services, but content is king and when it comes down to deciding between two or more streaming services, what you want to watch will have big sway over which service is picked.
Apple’s main focus has been original content, although original is a little bit of a nebulous word considering there are plenty of adaptations on the service (such as Silo). What is really meant by ‘original’ content is that aside from some children’s programming (like Helpers or The Snoopy show), Apple TV+ doesn’t purchase licensed content for library, so you won’t find the likes of The Office TV series or Hollywood franchises like John Wick popping up in its streaming section.
According to Just Watch it has about TV 120 series on the platform, and about 60 films, docs, and specials. Apple TV+’s main focus is TV series, with shows such as Ted Lasso, High Desert, Servant, For All Mankind, and Shrinking on the platform.
We wouldn’t say it’s as successful with films, both in terms of output and quality. While it was the first streaming service to win Best Picture with Coda (take that Netflix!), its film titles haven’t been as well received in Ghosted, Causeway and Emancipation. There are a few entertaining movies on the service in Tetris and Sharper, though.
Prime Video takes a different approach in that it has a huge library of streaming titles from Hollywood studios to go alongside its original content. It’s library is considerably bigger than Apple TV+, with Just Watch estimating it has nearly 10,000 titles available. Over 8000 over those are movies and 1500 are TV series.
However, licensed content is on a carousel, coming and going every few months, so the number of titles can vary as series and movies go in and out of rotation. When it comes to original content, we could argue that Prime Video hasn’t always hit the mark. Citadel was underwhelming, as was Rings of Power and Picard, but the likes of Bosch, Invincible, The Boys, Reacher, and The Marvelous Miss Maisel are certainly worth a watch.
Prime Video also ropes in other services as part of is Prime Channels offering which gives its library a further boost. You do have to pay extra for subscriptions to the likes of Paramount+, Studio Canal Presents, and LionsGate+ to get access to shows such as Outlander. Prime Video subscribers can also watch FreeVee, which is an ad-supported service with more content to watch such as Bosch: Legacy.
Both feature live sports as part of their offering and Prime Video is more relevant to UK audiences in this instance. It has rights to 20 English Premier League matches, ATP and WTA tennis tours. Apple TV+ has the rights to Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer in the UK.
In terms of what to watch, Prime Video covers way much more ground than Apple TV+ as it licenses content from Hollywood studios, so if you’re looking for something to stream it is the better option. Apple’s approach is more selective and we could make the point that its original content is more interesting than Prime Video’s line-up.
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Disney+ offers access to loads of original shows like The Mandalorian and Hawkeye, classic films and content from big brands like Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar.
- £7.99 a month
HDR and Dolby Atmos audio is supported by both services as long as you have compatible displays and sound systems to view and listen in. Apple supports Dolby Vision for its streaming service, while Prime Video supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+. With certain content you can also watch in colour accurate Filmmaker mode (if you have a TV that supports it).
Both services also have video stores attached to them, so if you want to rent, buy and download content to a device, you are able to do so through each service.
With Prime Video it only allows for three concurrent streams from the same account, and it only permits two streams simultaneously. Compare that to Apple and TV+ allows for six simultaneous streams from a single subscription.
While Apple TV+ doesn’t offer individual profiles as such, for those who purchase the Family Sharing Plan it can be shared with up to six people (including the owner of the subscription). Parental controls are available for any accounts that need to be restricted.
Offline downloads are supported with Apple as long as you have an iOS device, with no limit on how many downloads. The download limit for Prime Video is apparently 15 – 25 titles (depending on your region), and you can only download the same title to two devices. If you want to download it to another, you’ll need to delete from a previous device. You have 30-days to watch the title in, and 48 hours to finish it once you’ve started.
Apple’s SharePlay feature allows viewers the experience of watching shows and films on a FaceTime call, however everyone needs access to the content through a sub. Prime Video has its own Watch Party where you can chat up to 100 people (!) from the same country while watching movies or TV shows.
In terms of bonus content, we’ve not noticed Prime Video offering any bonus content for its shows (though we have found blooper reels for The Boys on YouTube, strangely enough). It does, however, have the excellent X-Ray feature that plus into IMDb for in-depth details on actors, trivia, and other production details for shows and films. Apple TV+ has more conventional extra features and interactive features buried within the hubs for each series and film.
Apple TV+ offers more freedom in terms of downloads and concurrent streams, but there’s a caveat in that you have to own an Apple device to take advantage of some of those features. We do like that Dolby Vision and Atmos support is more widespread as well.
Apple TV+ is, unsurprisingly, well supported on Apple devices. You can watch and download stuff through the TV app on iOS and macOS, but there is no native app available for Android users. There’s support for streaming devices from Roku, Sky Stream, certain versions of Amazon’s Fire TV devices, the Humax Aura, and of course course Apple TV 4K boxes.
Recent TVs from Samsung, Sony (Google TV), Roku, Panasonic, Hisense, Vizio, Panasonic, and LG have the app, as well as Sky Glass. Web browsers are also supported, as are PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles.
Prime Video’s platform support is far more comprehensive. There’s Amazon’s Fire TV devices along with streaming players from Google, Nvidia Shield, Roku, Apple TV, Xiaomi, Strong, among many others. Set-top boxes from TiVO, Virgin Media, Sky Q and Humax.
Blu-ray players from LG, Panasonic and Sony feature it, and you’d be hard pressed not to find a TV that supports it with Hisense, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Skyworth, Sky Glass, Toshiba, Vizio, TCL, JVC, and more featuring it
Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari and Opera are covered for browsers along with Android, iOS and Windows. Sony game consoles going back to the PS3 are supported, and consoles going back to the Xbox One get the app.
Which should you get?
If you want a streaming with a lot of options to watch then our pick would be Amazon Prime Video. It is slightly more expensive, but it available across more devices and platforms which makes it easier to access, has wider HDR support, and if you’re into sports, there’s more there for UK viewers to get stuck into.
We’d also say that Prime Video has a better movie line-up than Apple TV+ too, with the likes of Air and Creed III, titles you won’t find to stream on other services. Technically, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are both useful to have to.
However, Apple TV+ is cheaper, its original TV content is more interesting and appealing, and for home cinema fans its Dolby Vision, and especially Dolby Atmos support, is much better. We like both, but Prime Video is the better service in terms of its library. If you’re within the Apple ecosystem, then Apple TV+ is a fine addition, the type of service that would complement a subscription to one of the bigger services.