Amazon Prime Video recently introduced rand-based pricing in South Africa, charging R79 per month for its streaming service.
This effectively reduced its price from between R80 and R120 per month, depending on the exchange rate and currency conversion fees.
“This change happens automatically this month… and there’s nothing you need to do,” Amazon said.
Compared to Netflix and Showmax, Prime Video offers the largest number of titles among South Africa’s major subscription video streaming services.
Where Showmax offers a large selection of South African and local-language content, and Netflix offers original foreign-language shows and movies from countries like Japan, Mexico, France, and South Korea, Prime Video has a sizeable collection of Bollywood films.
With Amazon essentially reducing the price of Prime Video in South Africa, it is a good opportunity to investigate what subscribers get for R79 per month.
Prime Video interface
The Prime Video interface is similar to Netflix and Showmax, with content displayed in tabs such as TV Shows, Movies, Originals, and Kids.
The interface also has a “Home” tab that summarises content that the user may find interesting.
Sections under the home tab include:
- Watch next
- Recommended movies
- Recommended shows
- Amazon Originals
- Kids and family movies
- Top TV
By selecting the individual tabs for movies or TV shows, you can view available content by genre.
Amazon Prime Video’s subscription offers full HD and 4K resolution streaming.
You can adjust the streaming quality by going to Settings, Amazon Video Settings, and then selecting the Streaming Quality option.
Users will be able to select the default streaming quality from Good, Better, or Best. These options refer to 720p (HD), 1,080p (FHD), and 2,160p (4K/UHD) streaming qualities respectively.
In comparison, Showmax’s best streaming quality available is 720p, while Netflix’s quality varies from SD to 4K resolution depending on which package you have selected.
Prime Video offers a selection of 1,113 TV shows, the most popular of which are well-known series such as The Big Bang Theory, House, and Chicago PD.
Similar to Netflix, Prime Video offers a range of original content, dubbed Amazon Originals.
The most notable of these include The Wheel of Time, The Grand Tour, The Boys, The Man in High Castle, and Invincible.
Other popular originals include Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Hanna, Always Jane, Bosch, and Carnival Row.
When it comes to TV shows alone, Amazon Prime Video ranks second in terms of available content, with Netflix offering the largest selection of series and documentaries.
According to JustWatch, Netflix offers a total of 2,042 series while Showmax has 553.
Prime Video offers avid movie fans a large selection of content to watch, though only a few recent blockbusters are available on the streaming platform.
Notable titles include Inglorious Basterds, Mr and Mrs Smith, Gladiator, Catch Me If You Can, Saving Private Ryan, Back To The Future, the Indiana Jones series, and the first Jurassic Park.
Prime Video also offers a wide range of Bollywood movies and only had one South African title available — a documentary on Oscar Pistorius.
However, in terms of the sheer volume of movie content, Amazon’s streaming service offers a far more extensive selection of films than Netflix and Showmax, with 7,404 movies compared to Netflix’s 3,678 and Showmax’s 1,246.
The table below compares the content available on Prime Video, Netflix, and Showmax in South Africa. The figures used are from JustWatch.
|Prime Video vs Netflix vs Showmax|
The table below compares the South African pricing and streaming quality of the Prime Video, Netflix, and Showmax.
|Prime Video vs Netflix vs Showmax|
|Package||Concurrent streaming||Streaming quality||Price|