Thursday nights have always been must-watch TV nights for me. For years, my friends and I used to gather around the set with macaroni and cheese to watch Grey’s Anatomy. But if we weren’t there by 8 p.m., the show, and the party, would start without us! No way to pause and no waiting until Friday. If we missed the show, we missed the show.
Fast forward to today, and I could not tell you the last show I watched live. But what did I binge-watch in the last 24 hours? I watched five episodes of Cheers before going to bed last night, and then watched the finale of Parks and Recreation this morning on the train—both shows I never saw live.
And while I miss the fun of meeting my friends for our Thursday night ritual, we still sometimes gather to stream a TV show, only now we don’t have to wait. All of us cut the cord a long time ago in favor of streaming services.
In fact, eMarketer reported earlier this year that nearly 40 million people in the U.S. have cut the cord. But it’s not like people stopped watching TV. More than ever, consumers are tuning in to on-demand and original streaming content. And one of the biggest names leading the charge? Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video is a streaming service provided by Amazon that’s already part of the yearly Prime membership. Which means for $119 per year (or less if you're a student), you can get free two-day shipping (and sometimes same-day), Prime Reading, and access to thousands of classic movies and televisions shows, original programs, and a little thing called Thursday Night Football.
It’s hard to get specific because programming can change at any time, but currently you can watch TV classics like Star Trek, movies like It’s A Wonderful Life, and original content like the Emmy Award–winning series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. There are thousands more options to choose from as part of your Prime account. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, Amazon also lets you rent movies and shows with just a few easy clicks.
Netflix and Hulu are the traditional leaders in the streaming market, but Amazon Prime Video has some extra benefits that its competitors don’t: