Prime Video offers one of the biggest entertainment libraries and continues to rival some of the best streaming services available. The platform started out as an ordinary perk for Amazon Prime subscribers, but the growing number of award-winning movies and TV shows has turned Prime Video into a worthy competitor to the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus.
There are many distinguishing factors that make Prime Video stand out in the sea of other popular streaming platforms. More importantly, Prime Video reportedly offers more than 24,000 movies and 2,100 shows. But unlike Netflix, a good chunk of Amazon's streaming platform includes titles that users would still have to buy or rent to watch. Still, the "free to watch" range gets reshuffled every once and a while, so even if there's a movie that you'd have to pay for, there's a good chance that it will become free in a matter of time.
Similar to other streaming services, Prime Video has a number of awesome features that even long-term subscribers may not have noticed right away. These "hidden" features will help you get the most out of Amazon's streaming platform, and we're here to break down each and every one of them. Some of the listed features may appear obvious to users familiar to the service, but a couple surprised us, even at the time of writing.
Hidden Prime Video features: See cast details and fun trivia
Every time you pause a film/show, Prime Video’s X-Ray feature displays a list of the actors that appear in the scene. Although it’s not the most surprising feature to appear on this list considering how easy it is to encounter, it’s certainly unique compared to most streaming services.
Considering Amazon owns IMDb, the website which hosts all the information that appears via X-Ray, it’s highly unlikely that it would allow other platforms like Netflix or Disney Plus to use it as well.
It’s simple and elegant, and incredibly handy at preventing headaches caused by thoughts such as, “Where have I seen that actor before?”. X-Ray can also help make rewatching old shows more exciting by sharing an assortment of trivia facts and production goofs each time you take a break.
Hidden Prime Video features: Download TV shows and movies
Prime Video isn't the only streaming platform to offer a downloading option for offline viewing. In fact, similar features are available for subscribers of other major competitors, such as Netflix and Disney Plus. But in 2013, Prime Video was the very first streaming service to start the trend. The feature was first exclusively available on Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, and now it's offered on any device running on iOS or Android.
It allows you to enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies in an offline setting. So if you're about to hop on a long flight, or if your Wi-Fi connection isn't stable enough, this feature will certainly come in handy. To download a video, simply tap/click on the save icon next to the title.
Hidden Prime Video features: Pay less for Prime Video
This isn't exactly a feature, but it's worth considering if you're only using your Amazon Prime subscription to indulge in Prime Video. That's right: there is actually a cheaper subscription option solely for Prime Video users, priced at $8.99 per month.
This ultimately means that you can't take advantage of free and priority shipping when placing an order on Amazon, though. And do keep in mind that this type of subscription also doesn't have the option to pay annually. Regardless, this is a great way to try out the streaming service if you're new to Amazon Prime.
You can make changes to your membership directly in the settings menu.
Hidden Prime Video features: Find something to watch easier
It can be annoying when you come across a film you want to watch on Prime Video and realize that it’s not included as part of your subscription. However, a feature on the service can help prevent this problem, so you won’t have to be on the constant lookout for the small Prime logo that appears on free content.
If you navigate to the “Free to Me” section on the Prime Video website or TV app, you can filter out any shows and movies that you need to purchase or rent to help prevent any unwanted disappointment. This feature is also available on the iOS and Android app by toggling the “Free to Me” button displayed in the top-right corner of the display.
Hidden Prime Video features: Host "watch parties" with friends and family
If you ever thought about hosting a virtual movie party with your friends and family, then this is for you. By clicking or tapping the “Watch party” icon, you can create and host a session that allows you to watch your favorite film/TV show with other Prime Video subscribers located across the globe.
You can also take advantage of the chat function, which allows you to hold discussions and share your thoughts as you watch. The feature also supports up to 100 other Prime Video subscribers, so you’ll never have to limit how many people you invite. Then again, who has that many friends?
Hidden Prime Video features: Customize your subtitles
This feature may not seem as exciting, but it's a must-have for those who never toggle off the subtitle setting. Unlike Netflix, the default look of subtitles on Prime Video isn't appealing and doesn't blend well with the videos that you're watching. That's normally the case when you're viewing content through any device, whether it's on iOS, Android, or even through a browser.
Luckily, Prime Video offers an option to customize the look of the subtitles. There are three presets that you can adjust to your liking. You can swap the color, font, size, opacity, borders and more. To check out this feature, simply tap/click on the "Subtitles settings" option and customize away!
Hidden Prime Video features: Shuffle your favorite episodes
If you’re looking for ways to spice up rewatching your favorite TV show for the umpteenth time, you’ll be glad to know that you have the option of “shuffling” the order in which you watch the episodes. This allows you to watch a TV show out of order, making it a bit more interesting since you won’t know what to expect next.
The bad news is that this feature is fairly inconsistent as to where it can be used. First off, it’s only available via the Android app, and even then, it doesn’t seem to be available on every TV show. So far, we’ve spotted it on famous sitcoms like The Office (US), 30 Rock and Scrubs.
Now you've unlocked Prime Video's hidden features, take a look at the Netflix hidden features and Disney Plus hidden features we discovered, which include secret games and categories. And if you're stuck on what to watch on Prime Video, check out our picks of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.