New streaming services are launching at an incredible pace, but Apple TV Channels and Amazon Prime Video Channels are platforms that aim to make it easier to manage all of your streaming services in a central application. Read on for a full comparison of both platforms.
Amazon Prime Video Channels
Amazon Prime Video Channels allows you to subscribe to third-party streaming services, such as HBO, Showtime, CBS All Access, and many more, directly inside the Prime Video application. This means all billing is handled by Amazon itself.
Amazon’s collection of Prime Video Channels is far wider than Apple TV Channels as of now (full list at the bottom of this article). Whereas many of the big-name services overlap between both platforms, Amazon offers a much larger collection of niche streaming platforms.
The Amazon Prime Video Channels collection has one key advantage, however: sports. Through Amazon Prime Video Channels, you can subscribe to several different streaming services focused on sports. These include:
Furthermore, the standard Amazon Prime Video service will stream Thursday Night Football this year. Apple currently doesn’t have any deals in place to stream live sports through the Apple TV app, aside from Channels that offer live video such as CBS All Access.
Much like Apple TV Channels, virtually all of these services offer free trials ranging from a week to one month long. One of the easiest ways to compare Amazon Prime Video Channels to Apple TV Channels is by subscribing to a free trial in both applications.
Apple TV Channels
Apple TV Channels is a feature in Apple’s TV app that allows you to subscribe to streaming services directly in the TV app. This comes with several benefits, such as billing through Apple and the ability to easily drop and add subscriptions.
Apple TV Channels are streaming services that you can buy and stream directly in the TV app. For instance, you can subscribe to Showtime through Apple TV Channels. If you do so, all billing is handled through Apple itself and the video is hosted by Apple.
The biggest benefit of the Apple TV Channels platform is the integration it offers with Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, And Mac. This makes it easy to manage your Apple TV Channels subscriptions alongside your other Apple and App Store subscriptions.
Where can you watch Apple TV Channels and Amazon Prime Video Channels?
You can watch Apple TV Channels anywhere the Apple TV app is available. First and foremost, this includes all of your Apple devices: iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. But Apple has also made the Apple TV available on a variety of other platforms as well.
You can view the full list of devices on which the Apple TV app is available in our full roundup right here. The list includes smart TVs, streaming boxes such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV, and much more.
Likewise, you can watch Amazon Prime anywhere you can access the Amazon Prime Video app or website. This includes iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, as well as a host of other platforms.
The Apple TV app and Amazon Prime Video app have both received some criticism for being difficult to navigate. Personally, I find the availability of a dedicated Apple TV app for Mac to be a big advantage for Apple. The Apple TV app for macOS is not great, but it does support features like picture-in-picture. This is an area where your personal preferences will play a major role in your decision.
In both the Amazon Prime app and Apple TV app, you can expect similar video quality. Both apps support the latest video and audio standards (on devices that also support the features) and can stream in up to 4K when available. The Apple TV app, however, lets you download Apple TV Channels content for offline viewing with many services, whereas Amazon Prime Video Channels does not for most services.
One downside to the Prime Video application is that you can not subscribe to new Amazon Prime Video Channels in-app on Apple devices. This means you’ll have to jump out to Amazon in your web browser to complete the subscription process. If you’re in the Apple ecosystem this is something important to consider.
Both the Amazon Prime Video Channels and Apple TV Channels platforms offer similar functionality, with a few important differences, particularly in service availability.
But one of the biggest factors to consider is which service makes it easier for you to consolidate all of your streaming needs into a single app. That’s the central purpose of the Apple TV Channels and Amazon Prime Video Channels platforms.
If a particular service you want is not available through Apple TV Channels but is available through Amazon Prime Video Channels, then maybe Amazon’s platform is the best choice for you. The key is to try and get as many services as possible into one app, but one other thing to consider is that availability varies wildly by country. While Apple’s TV app is available in over 100 countries, different streaming services are only available in select countries.
Finally, it’s also important to check directly through streaming services themselves. Sometimes providers offer better pricing options when you subscribe directly as opposed to a third-party service such as Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
Personally, I find that the Apple TV Channels platform is far better because I am already so deep in the Apple ecosystem. What about you? Let us know down in the comments!
Amazon Prime Video Channels:
Apple TV Channels:
Note: Availability and pricing vary by country. Last updated May 9, 2020.