Amazon Prime Video

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Amazon Prime Video App Poster Image
Rich content library, imperfect parent controls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

With the variety of TV and movies available, kids can find a wealth of educational content, from early literacy skills to the animal kingdom to emotional and social skills, but all learning is passive.

Ease of Play

Navigation is straightforward with a heavy visual interface that is kid-friendly. Some reading is helpful, but not required.

Violence

Some scary and or violent images may appear on product preview screens. Parental controls may limit violence in available video content.

Sex

Some mature images/descriptions may appear on product preview screens. Parental controls may limit sexual content in available videos.

Language

Some mature language may appear on product preview screens. Parental controls may limit mature language based on ratings.

Consumerism

Search results may include videos that require additional purchases or subscriptions. Kids can't make purchases via the mobile app. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Images and descriptions of drinking, drugs, and/or smoking may appear on product preview screens. Parental controls may limit this type of content based on video ratings.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Amazon Prime Video is a video service for Amazon.com content. Much like any other online video service out there, it hosts a wide range of content, some more kid-friendly than others. Parental controls allow parents to set restrictions of a certain rating level on a per-device basis. The method to set controls may vary based on device, in particular on Fire devices and Xbox One. Although kids can't access restricted content without the parental control PIN, they can read descriptions/see movie images on preview screens that may not be appropriate. Parents can also add a PIN to prevent unauthorized purchases. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change. Amazon is one of Common Sense Media's paying content partners, but its app was reviewed by an independent writer.

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What's it about?

AMAZON PRIME VIDEO is the app for Amazon.com video services, including video rentals/purchases, Prime Video subscription services, and pre-purchased/digital access videos. Kids can browse via genre or search for specific content. There's also an area dedicated entirely to child- and family-friendly programming and movies. Families who subscribe to premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) through Amazon will find that content in the app, as well. Amazon Prime Video interfaces with the Movies Anywhere service to support the display of prior movie purchases on other platforms. Families can curate their own watchlists of movies to make decision-making easier on movie night. Some content can be downloaded to your device for offline viewing. Much like the Amazon website, there are recommended titles and reviews from other users. 

Parents can control which videos are available to stream by restricting content by rating. Content beyond the appropriate rating will only be available if a PIN is entered. These controls can be set by device, allowing parents to restrict one level of content on the family TV and another entirely on an iPad or phone. These restrictions do not impact video cover art and descriptions, which remain visible regardless of controls in place. 

While watching content on Amazon Prime Video, families can access the X ray information service which gives information about the actors and music in a scene, movie trivia, and actor bios from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

Is it any good?

If you're looking for a vast collection of movie and TV content in one place, you can't really go wrong here. Amazon Prime Video sets the bar high for both navigation and content. The parental controls are okay, but it would be more useful to be able to block objectionable video content from appearing at all in a "kid mode." Having the ability to block specific titles -- and not just ratings categories -- would also be nice. Also, if you're changing settings and have just signed in, having to sign in again (and prove you're not a bot) for every change becomes cumbersome. In terms of content, the integration with Movies Anywhere brings Amazon Prime Video even closer to a one-stop-shop solution. And for those family members who always want to know where they know that actor from, X ray is fun and easy to use. While parents of younger kids will still want to keep an eye on browsing kiddos, Amazon Prime Video is a solid solution for families who want their content on a variety of devices.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about making smart media choices on Amazon Prime Video and other platforms.  What types of movies and television content are appropriate in your family? Does that change as kids get older?

  • How do you like this app in comparison with other apps you could use? As you balance your time on and offscreen, would this be an app you'd choose to use? Why, or why not?

App details

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For kids who love television and movies

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