Updated: February 28th, 2021 at 04:49 pm
Amazon Prime Video subscribers can stream on up to three devices at the same time. This simultaneous streams policy is largely in line with many other streaming services. However, there are some caveats to streaming Prime Video on more than one device at the same time. The most notable is that the title needs to be different, as Amazon lowers the same-time stream allowance when multiple devices are streaming the same show episode or movie.
Amazon Prime Video is a popular streaming service in the United States. One of the reasons for this is that it comes bundled with the main Prime membership. As a result, anyone paying for Amazon Prime shipping automatically has access to Prime Video at no additional cost. However, Prime membership is not a requirement for access to Amazon’s streaming service, as Prime Video can be subscribed to on a standalone basis for $8.99 per month.
Regardless of how the service is accessed or its cost, knowing the simultaneous streams policy of a service like Prime Video can greatly improve the overall experience. After all, if subscribers are unaware of how many devices they can stream Prime Video on at the same time, then they run the risk of finding out the hard way – when the service forbids them from streaming a show episode or movie.
Three devices at the same time
Prime Video subscribers currently have the option of streaming on up to three devices at the same time. For the price and type of service, this is a fairly average allowance. For example, HBO Max and Peacock both also allow subscribers to stream on up to three devices at the same time. It is also slightly more than Hulu’s two streams at the same time, but slightly less than Disney+ and its four simultaneous streams.
What’s more, this is irrespective of the device and that’s an important distinction. Unlike live TV streaming services, Amazon does not specify devices when it comes to simultaneous streams. As a result, subscribers can stream on up to three different living room devices, just like they can also stream on up to three mobile devices, at the same time.
There also does not appear to be any additional benefit for those accessing the video service through the company’s own streaming devices. Amazon’s Fire TV players and Edition TVs are bound by the same three-stream restriction. However, where a restriction does come into play is the title.
Prime Video movies and episodes matter
While Prime Video does not place any restrictions on the type of devices that can stream at the same time, Amazon does limit the number of simultaneous streams when it comes to the title. For example, Amazon won’t allow Prime Video subscribers to stream the same movie or episode on three different devices at the same time.
Instead, Amazon only allows subscribers to stream the same title on up to two devices at the same time. Again, this is irrespective of the device used to access the service.
While that is unlikely to be an issue for most Prime Video subscribers there are going to be times when more than one device is looking to access the same title, which is why Amazon does permit two devices at the same time. One such example is family members who share the same account but are not watching in the same location. If they all wanted to watch the latest movie or episode at the same time, only two could.
Speaking of which, Amazon now offers a Prime Video Watch Party feature which, as the name suggests, allows people in different locations to remotely watch movies and show episodes together.
The main restriction of the Watch Party feature is that all party participants need to have an active Prime membership. If those attending a watch party are all sharing the same master Prime Video account, then it seems unlikely they would be able to take part in a Watch Party together, due to the same-title simultaneous stream restriction.
Purchased videos also limited
Although Prime Video is a great location for streaming movies and show episodes included with a subscription, the service also allows users to rent and/or purchase titles as well. While these digital titles are technically owned by the consumer, Amazon places the same simultaneous streams restriction on those titles as well.
Essentially, regardless of whether streaming a Prime Video-included title, or streaming a purchased or rented title, subscribers can only stream on up to three devices at this same time. Again, as Amazon has also added a same-title limitation, even purchased movies and show episodes can only be streamed on up to two devices at the same time.
Of course, those who have purchased titles through Prime Video are free to download the movie or show episode and avoid all streaming restrictions.
Prime Video simultaneous streams summary
Amazon allows Prime Video subscribers to stream on up to three devices at the same time. This is irrespective of whether paying monthly or yearly, or whether a full Prime member or subscribing to Prime Video on its own. Likewise, this restriction is also irrelevant of device, with subscribers able to stream on any devices at the same time, including living room devices.
While there are no limitations on the type of subscription or device, Amazon does place a simultaneous streams limitation on the title. Due to this, Prime Video subscribers can only stream the same movie or show episode on up to two devices at the same time. This reduced same-time streams policy not only applies to titles included with a Prime Video membership for free, but also purchased and rented titles as well.