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Amazon Prime in Canada: What is it, how does it differ from the US?
Amazon brought Prime to Canada back in 2013, but the service has grown by leaps and bounds in the last eight years. The Seattle-based company boasts over two million subscribers north of the border, and there are plenty of good reasons to sign up. From streaming perks to fast and free shipping, your membership should quickly pay dividends on the subscription price. Let’s dig into everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Amazon Prime in Canada.
If you’ve never tried the service, we’ll dig into the perks, prices, and everything else you might want to know. Even if you’ve given Prime a shot in the past, there’s bound to be a new feature or two on the menu. You can sign up right now at the button below.
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime launched as a premium subscription service that hooks you up with fast, free shipping on millions of items purchased directly from Amazon. Now, Prime is an all-encompassing service with music, video, and even game services.
Although Amazon Prime has been around in the United States since 2005, it didn’t migrate north to Canada until 2013. However, you could probably count the late start as a positive for the company. By that time, it had already launched Prime Video and access to Kindle eBooks. The laundry list of services has only grown from there, adding Twitch streaming and premium video channels to the mix.
While Canada is sitting at about two million Prime members, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the service had exceeded 200 million subscribers worldwide. We can only expect the number to continue to grow, primarily due to the pandemic-related lockdowns. Along with the growing user base, the price of Prime has steadily increased in the United States, though it’s stayed constant at CA$79 per year or CA$7.99 per month up North.
How does Amazon Prime differ in Canada from the US?
A few years ago, the two services offered actual differences. Sure, they’ve always been called Amazon Prime, but United States users got access to just about all of the best perks before Canada did. Now, the two are far closer in terms of bonuses and access. Both versions of Prime have included free one- and two-day shipping since the start. You can get great Lightning Deals from either service. Prime Canada jumped on the Twitch streaming train pretty early. It now goes by Twitch Prime, and you can get several in-game and streaming benefits each month.
Now that Prime Canada has caught up to its American counterpart, you’ll get all of the same Prime Music and Prime Video access you can handle. Prime Reading is yet another perk, so you can always trade your streaming screen for an e-reader and catch up on some bestsellers.
One of Amazon Prime’s biggest draws is the Prime Day celebration. It moved to October in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before moving to June in the United States this year. Unfortunately, Prime Day will not be taking place in Canada this year, but it may open up for an even better slate of savings in 2022.
Essentially, your Prime Day membership entitles you to two days of the best deals that Amazon can create. This year’s offers included substantial savings from Razer, Amazon’s Echo devices, and so much more. Prime Day typically coincides in the US and Canada, though its deals are different.
How much does Amazon Prime cost in Canada?
Amazon Prime keeps things pretty simple with its Canadian prices. If you want a full year of the service, it will cost you CA$79, or you can go for a monthly rate of CA$7.99. The prices haven’t increased the same way they have in the United States. The annual rate works out to just CA$6.58 per month for those number crunchers among you.
If you’re a student, the deal gets even better. You can get a free six-month trial of Prime courtesy of Stack TV, complete with all of the bells and whistles. You’ll only have to pay half of the annual rate to stick with Prime once the six-month trial ends. Alternatively, Quebec residents can grab a two-month membership for just CA$7.99. While it’s not the same as a free trial, that’s still an excellent way to get a free month of Amazon’s premium service.
Can I share my membership?
If you’re looking to spread the love with Amazon Prime, you might be wondering how to share your membership. The easiest way to share is to give your login to another user, but we don’t recommend that for security purposes. However, it’s the only way to get the job done in Canada for the time being.
In the US, Amazon has a proper way to share your account. You can find it under the Amazon Household tab. This tab allows you to create unique profiles for each family member, including kids. Household hasn’t made its way to Canada quite yet, but it will most likely do so soon. Right now, there’s a petition to bring Amazon Household to Canada floating around on change.org, but we’ll have to wait and see if it picks up traction.
What other perks can you get with Amazon Prime Canada?
We’ve already made it pretty clear that Amazon Prime packs plenty of perks, but what does each one mean? Let’s jump into some of the most important ones.
Prime Music — Just like Spotify, Apple, and TIDAL, Amazon has gotten in on the music streaming game with its very own Prime Music. You can dive into two million songs, custom playlists, and even use Alexa integration to change your music on the fly. Better yet, you can download your favorites, so your jams don’t waste your data. Amazon also offers Prime Music Unlimited, which takes ads out of the picture for an extra fee.
Prime Drive — Although Prime Drive isn’t a self-driving rideshare service, it’s still an essential bonus in the world of Prime. You can store all of your favorite family photos in the cloud and access them whenever you want. If you have an Echo Show, you can even bring your pictures to life in a slideshow while you’re not using the display.
Prime Reading — Not everything is about watching movies or TV shows, as Prime Reading will show you. You don’t even need a Kindle to get started. Just grab the Cloud Reader app, and you’re on your way. Prime Reading offers an extensive list of titles that you can read at your own pace. The titles change monthly, though, so don’t put your favorites down for too long.
Prime Gaming — Amazon’s history with games and streaming began when it scooped up the Twitch platform. While you may not love that your favorite game streaming service is part of Amazon’s umbrella, it’s hard to argue against the benefits. You can add premium channel subscriptions, exclusive loot, and even free indie games to your account without any extra hoops to jump through.
What is Amazon Prime Video?
The most prominent streaming feature included with Amazon Prime in Canada is Prime Video. It’s a video service with a library that can rival the likes of Netflix and Hulu, yet it sometimes finds itself lost in the shuffle of competitors. However, a constantly growing library of originals and premium channel integrations suggests that Prime Video is only going to continue to grow. Unfortunately, most premium channels are still limited to the United States.
As for original content, you’ll probably recognize big names like The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and The Man in the High Castle. Those are only a few of the most popular titles, and Prime Video is also the exclusive home of the former Top Gear crew, now on The Grand Tour.
Related: The best Amazon Prime shows you can stream right now
Like most services, Prime Video launched in the United States first. It’s since grown and spread to more than 200 countries around the world. The low network requirements make Prime Video one of the easiest services to fire up. Of course, you need top speeds for high-end 4K playback, but standard definition content only asks for a mere 0.5Mbps to get you going.
If you’re not sure whether Prime Video is for you, you can always pick up a 30-day free trial to see how you like it.
What devices are compatible?
Like most modern streaming services, you can pretty much run Prime Video from various devices. While you might not get every feature like subtitles or UHD, the service should be pretty easy to pick up. Of course, it will run best on a first-party Amazon platform.
You may have the easiest time kicking off your binge session from your laptop or PC, though the content is limited to HD quality. Specific Android devices can jump to UHD quality, but your best bet is a Fire TV or one of Amazon’s streaming sticks. You can check out the setup process right here or check on your compatibility below:
Amazon Prime Video supported devices
- Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick
- Android devices
- Blu-ray players (LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony)
- iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
- PlayStation 3, 4, and 5 consoles
- Set-top boxes (Chromecast, NVIDIA Shield TV, and others)
- Smart TVs (most manufacturers)
- Web browsers
- Xbox One and Series S and X consoles
The best Amazon Prime Video shows and movies
While Netflix or Hulu might come to mind first when you’re thinking of the best video streaming library, Prime Video is not to be overlooked. It has a great list of originals we mentioned before and plenty of movies and premium channels that you won’t find anywhere else.
See also: The best movies on Amazon Prime Video
Like other services, Prime Video occasionally falls victim to series and IPs leaving for different platforms, but it often finds a way to replace them with even more suitable content. Some of the most enjoyable flicks you’ll find include low-budget masterpieces like Spaghetti Man, Velocipastor, and Llamageddon. Check out our list below for more top titles.
Top shows on Amazon Prime Video:
- The Boys
- Good Omens
- The Man in the High Castle
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- The Wheel of Time
- Borat’s American Lockdown
- Modern Love
Top movies on Amazon Prime Video:
- The Sound of Metal
- Manchester by the Sea
- The Lighthouse
- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
- Coming 2 America
- One Night in Miami
- Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse
- Knives Out
- The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
See also: Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix
The lists go on and on! The only way you can watch them all in one place is to sign up for Amazon Prime Video. Learn more and sign up at the widget below: