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20 Amazon Prime channels worth subscribing to

Amazon Prime Video has lots of channels and some fantastic original programming to boot.


John-Michael Bond


Posted on Nov 18, 2018   Updated on Jan 27, 2021, 7:09 am CST

You don’t need an Amazon Fire Stick to take advantage of Amazon Prime channels. Everyone with a Prime membership can access Amazon Prime channels through their Prime Video app. Along with the tens of thousands of streaming options already on Prime, Amazon offers a host of subscription services that help turn Prime into a powerful media center that houses all of your entertainment needs. Whether you want horror, today’s biggest movies, or a masterclass in African-American cinema, these Amazon Prime channels will satisfy your needs.

Monthly (Prime
Video only)
Annually (w/
Amazon Prime
Annual (w/
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The best Amazon Prime channels

Movie Channels on Amazon Prime Video


Showtime’s movie selection provides a needed alternative to the blockbuster focus of HBO. Offering a wide range of smaller-scale dramas, comedies, and thrillers, Showtime gives viewers a chance to catch up on titles they might have missed in theaters. Its original series are worth the price of a subscription alone, from Dexter to Shameless. Heck, the recent Who Is America by Sacha Baron Cohen led to the destruction of a few political careers. If you’re tired of big-budget action, or just want some new groundbreaking series to watch, give Showtime a look.



HBO remains the gold standard of premium movie channels. Featuring today’s hits, along with its award-winning original programming, documentaries, and comedy, it’s easy to see why HBO has remained so popular for so long. With Game of Thrones season 8 landing in 2019, now is the perfect time to make sure you’re subscribed, and Amazon Fire makes it easy to watch.



You might be surprised to learn that Starz has the most extensive library of classic (1960-1990s) movies on any of the primary streaming services. After joining forces with Encore a few years ago, the channel augmented its library with a staggering number of vintage titles. Coupled with Starz’s impressive blockbusters, the channel is making a major play for your attention. If original series are what draw your attention, Starz has you covered, from the modern gangster drama of Power to American Gods mystic horror.



As the premium movie channels have developed their own niches over the last few years, Cinemax has emerged as the place for action. From horror to shootouts to bawdy comedy, Cinemax has hundreds of options to get your pulse pounding. Cinemax’s dedication to action carries over to its original series, from the rural-crime bloodbath of Banshee to Outcast’s blood-chilling spirits. Thankfully it’s not all explosions, with a carefully curated crop of dramas and indie films to make sure there’s something for everyone. Cinemax is an often overlooked delight.  





If you ever lost an hour looking through your local Blockbuster’s horror aisle, Shudder is for you. Collecting hundreds of horror movies and TV shows across 70 years of horror history, there’s nothing else like Shudder for shock fans. Special treats include film commentaries and movie marathons hosted by horror royalty Joe Bob Briggs. Shudder would be worth subscribing for twice the price, but at $4.99 per month, it’s a steal from the beyond.


Hallmark Movies Now

Hallmark Movies are known for their romantic charm. Now you can stream them all on-demand, with the Hallmark Movies Now channel on Amazon Prime. Mixing Hallmark’s original productions with occasional Hollywood tearjerkers like Steel Magnolias, Hallmark ensures you’ll have something to pull your heartstrings year round. Just note: The catalog for Hallmark Movies Now is separate from what you’ll find on the Hallmark Channel. (Here’s how to watch Hallmark Christmas movies this year.)


Sundance Now

Cost: $6.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)

Run by the same people behind Shudder, Sundance Now is an indie film nerd’s dream. Featuring classic documentaries, low-budget hits from auteurs like the Cohen Brothers, and indie favorites new and old, Sundance Now is film school on a budget. Drawing from Sundance’s decades-deep library of titles, this channel is a one-of-a-kind source for high-quality films outside the reach of major studios.

Brown Sugar

If you’re looking for classic Black cinema, Netflix and Hulu are going to leave you disappointed. Thankfully, Brown Sugar is here to make sure the classics never get forgotten. Drawing from favorites like Shaft and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, along with ’90s hits like the All Star Comedy Jam series, Brown Sugar never disappoints. The service excels by embracing every aspect of Black cinema. From standup to ’70s exploitation and groundbreaking dramas, everything lives side by side on an equal field.


Urban Movie Channel

One area most streaming services suffer is inclusion. Simply put, Hollywood and the vast majority of its content is overwhelmingly white. While the industry course corrects, the Urban Movie Channel is providing a home for independent films made by people of color. Made up largely of low-budget indie dramas, thrillers, and documentaries, the Urban Movie Channel may seem limited at first. However, if you’re looking for more representation in film, it’s a huge step in the right direction.


Live TV and Broadcast Channels on Amazon Prime Video

Sling TV

Sling TV is a solid budget-priced streaming TV replacement, giving users ESPN, Comedy Central, MSNBC, Food Network, and more for just $30 per month. Users pick between two channel packages, Sling Blue or Sling Orange, or can spring for both for $45 per month. There are no long-term contracts, and you can add features like DVR for an added fee each month.  

Orange + Blue$50

Hulu with Live TV

Keep up with all your favorite shows after cutting the cord with Hulu. For the low cost of $5.99 per month, you get access to streams of cable and network TV shows the day after they air. Subscribers also get thousands of movies and original series on-demand. Getting used to ads during streaming takes getting used to, but for the cost, Hulu is one of the best deals in streaming. (You can also upgrade to Hulu with No Commercials for an extra $6 per month.) You can even add a live TV streaming TV with the game-changing Hulu with Live TV.    

Hulu with ads$5.99
Hulu with no ads$11.99
Hulu Live TV + Hulu with ads$54.99
Hulu Live TV + Hulu no ads$60.99

CBS All Access

CBS All Access is the only way you can watch Star Trek: Discovery, which has earned plenty of critical acclaim. But CBS All Access is essential even if you’re not a trekkie. It lets you watch your local CBS affiliate live, along with on-demand episodes of all your favorite new shows (Picard, Madam Secretary, The Big Bang TheoryBlue Bloods, NCIS: New Orleans, and Young Sheldon, among others) and even classics like Magnum P.I.


Kids and Family Channels on Amazon Prime Video


Classic cartoon lovers have been left hanging by streaming services for too long. While modern titles from Cartoon Network and numerous anime series are available, finding classic Looney Tunes and Hana Barbera titles required DVDs. Thankfully, the cable channel Boomerang also has a streaming service now. This Amazon channel lets you stream Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, Johnny Quest, and other Saturday morning classics. On top of a deep well of vintage cartoons, Boomerang produces its own great shows, including brand new Looney Tunes episodes. Whether its duck season or rabbit season, Boomerang is serving classic cartoons all year round.



Finding quality children’s programming can be complicated, especially when relying on free sources like YouTube. That’s why Noggin’s $7.99-per-month service is such a worthwhile investment. Parents get streaming access to classic Nick Jr. shows like Blue’s Clues and Peppa Pig, along with educational shorts for their developing children. It even includes parental favorites like Yo Gabba Gabba in the mix.


Up Faith and Family

Streaming has added many new choices for home entertainment, but that doesn’t mean it’s always welcoming to families. Services are packed with R-rated films, and PG-13 titles often don’t meet family guidelines. Up Faith and Family is an all-ages, Christian-based streaming service for families looking for clean content. Interestingly, Up Faith and Family keeps away from preaching. Up is an entertainment service first, so if you’re not religious but still want family-friendly TV, it’s worth a look.


International Channels

Acorn TV

Acorn TV offers the best British programming on this side of the BBC and bake-0ffs. The subscription service specializes in dramas and mysteries that will leave you on the edge of your seat. It’s home to programs like A Place to Call Home, Bang, Midsomer Murders, and Wire in the Blood.


PBS Masterpiece

PBS has been producing celebrated movies and miniseries for decades, and thanks to PBS Masterpiece you can enjoy them whenever you want on Amazon Prime. For $5.99 per month, you get streaming access to PBS’ library of period dramas, mysteries, and movies. Your subscription also includes international PBS hits, like Black Widow and The Adulterer.



If you’ve ever lost a weekend to a BBC show, drop everything you’re doing right now and just go ahead and subscribe to Britbox. Collecting decades of BBC shows and U.K. TV series, Britbox almost contains too much content. It’s the only way to legally stream classic Doctor Who, with episodes dating back to 1964’s season 1. Antiques Roadshow, Absolutely Fabulous, Father Ted, Justice: Britbox is a masterclass in British entertainment. We promise you’ll find a new favorite with just a little digging.


Exercise Channels on Amazon Prime Video

Daily Burn

Starting a workout routine on your own can be daunting, and gyms are expensive. Daily Burn aims to put a personal trainer in your home, for one low cost a month. Your subscription gets you classes from beginner level to intense high-impact challenges. Workouts are based on your needs and interests, whether you want a cardio nightmare or peaceful yoga-based workouts. Even if you can never find time to get to the gym, you can find 15 to 30 minutes to give working out a try. Daily Burn gives Amazon Prime users a free month trial to see for themselves. You’ve got nothing to lose, so grab your sweats and get moving.  


Amazon Prime Video Guides

What’s New on Amazon Prime Video
The best Movies on Amazon Prime Video
Best Shows on Amazon Prime Video
Best Original Shows on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video Genre Guides

4K MoviesLGBTQ
AnimeMartial Arts Films
Bollywood FilmsSad Movies
Comedy MoviesSci-Fi Movies
DocumentariesSerial Killer Movies
Horror MoviesSexy Movies
Kids MoviesThrillers

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*First Published: Nov 18, 2018, 6:00 am CST