Amazon Prime: what comes with your subscription, and is it worth the money?

Amazon Prime Day is here – and requires a Prime subscription to take part, but is it worth the price of admission?

Amazon Prime Is It Worth It
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, which means two things – firstly, there are a barrage of deals appearing on Amazon UK over the next two days, and secondly, Amazon shoppers will have to weigh-up whether it's worth signing-up for a Prime membership to access the discounts and deals.

Amazon offers a trial period for anyone interested in a Prime membership. After the 30-day trial period, it will charge you an annual fee of £79 (reduced by £20 to £59 if you sign up over Prime Day) or $119 for membership.

So, is an Amazon Prime account worth it?

The annual membership scheme comes with a whole host of benefits. Top of that list is early access to deals on the website – Amazon refreshes a rotating selection of Lightning Deals on its website every day. Once these expire, the deal is no longer available, which means time really is of the essence. As such, the early access afforded to Prime members is a serious bonus.

You'll also get unlimited one-day delivery on millions of items from Amazon. Items that are eligible for the speedy delivery option are clearly marked on the site and are always sold by Amazon or third-party sellers participating in Prime. If you're based in Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Portsmouth, or Sheffield, you'll be able to get items delivered in two hours or less.

But it's not all about shopping, Amazon Prime membership also includes access to a number of streaming services, including Prime Music. This has a rotating catalogue of some two millions popular songs – including most of the songs you'll hear in the chart at any given time. Amazon includes a number of handpicked curated playlists, which can be streamed from the iOS and Android apps, as well as any Echo devices that you have around the house.

Amazon Prime Is It Worth It

(Image credit: Amazon)

It's worth noting that Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited are different things. The latter costs £7.99 a month and has a much broader catalogue of around 50 million tracks, offers offline listening and is ad-free. Essentially it's designed to be a rival to Apple Music and Spotify, while Prime Music is a nice perk for subscribers and means you'll be able to listen to some tracks on your Echo smart speaker if you're not currently paying for any of the other music streaming services.

What else? Prime membership includes access to a rotating library of free Kindle eBooks, magazines, and comics that you can access from the Kindle app, which is available on a wide variety of hardware, as well as Amazon Kindle e-Readers. There's also Prime Photos, which offers unlimited cloud storage to back-up and share your photo library. Like Google Photos, which only offers unlimited storage to Pixel smartphone owners, and Apple iCloud Photo Library, which doesn't offer free unlimited storage to anyone, Amazon Prime subscribers can add images using the free app to see them on all your devices.

And finally, Prime includes access to Prime Video – a Netflix rival that includes thousands of movies and TV shows to stream at no extra cost. You can watch on a television via a set-top box, computer, tablet, or smartphone using the companion app. Amazon also lets you download some of the films for offline viewing.

Prime Video has a number of exclusive shows, like The Grand TourJack RyanMarvelous Mrs. MaiselGood Omens, Bosch, as well as upcoming superheroes-gone-bad show The Boys and Undone, which is a new animated half-hour from the team behind Netflix's Bojack Horseman and stars Breaking Bad's Bob Odenkirk. There is also an ever-growing selection of movies funded by Amazon Studios that are also available for free on the streaming platform – and are sometimes released on the same day as the theatrical run, like The Big Sick and Manchester by the Sea.

Unlike Netflix, Amazon doesn't just limit its streaming catalogue to shows and movies included with its Prime membership, allowing viewers to buy or rent the latest offerings as well within the same app interface.

So, in conclusion that's...

Access to deals on Amazon Prime Day 2019
One-day shipping, and two-hour delivery with Prime Now
Early access to Lighting Deals
Two million tracks and curated playlists via Prime Music
Rotating library of free eBooks, comic books, and magazines
Unlimited free photo library
Stream thousands of films and shows via Prime Video

For our money, that compares pretty favourably against other streaming services, which offer a fraction of this variety and often cost much more than the annual £79 subscription fee for Amazon Prime. That said, the membership is deeply tied into Amazon's ever-expanding ecosystem – if you own a raft of Google Home smart speakers or a HomePod instead of Amazon Echo products, then this might not be the right choice – likewise if you never buy anything on Amazon UK.

Amazon Prime Is It Worth It

(Image credit: Amazon)

If that sounds like you, but you're still interested in the original shows and movies available via Prime Video, Amazon does offer a video-only subscription tier. It costs £5.99 a month.

Best way to find out whether Amazon Prime works for you is to take advantage of the generous 30-day trial period on offer. Sign-up your a membership here.

Rival Amazon Prime Day sales live right now