How To Download a Movie from Amazon Prime Video
Want to download a movie from Amazon Prime Video? Going somewhere without internet or traveling and want something to watch? This tutorial will show you how to download a movie to your device for later viewing.
Amazon Prime Video is now a solid competitor to Hulu and Netflix and offers a little more too. The categories have been fleshed out, the company is making its own content, investing heavily in streaming and doing everything it can to be a competitor in the streaming space.
Like Netflix and the others, Amazon Prime Video would prefer you stream the content and stay within the platform rather than download to your device. By keeping you on the platform, they can control what you do and how you do it. Allowing you to download content means they don’t get analytics from your activities and risk losing control of the content to piracy.
Downloading from Amazon Prime Video
Streaming services do allow you to download certain titles to your device but not all of them. Presumably this is a licensing issue rather than arbitrary rule but you never seem to know until you check the title itself. There are ways you can download those titles that aren’t specifically downloadable though. Just be aware that it is very likely against Amazon Prime Video’s T&Cs.
To download legitimately:
- Open Amazon Prime Video and browse to a title.
- Open the title and look at the details. If it says Included with Prime Video and has a Download button, you can legitimately download it.
- Hit the button and download the movie.
It is very hit and miss as to which movies and other titles you can download and which you cannot. Netflix and Hulu are the same which is why I think it likely to be down to licensing rather than anything else.
Once downloaded, the movie will appear in your device’s Downloads folder. Your time is finite though as this download will disappear after a set period of time. You should receive a notification before it times out but bear it in mind that you don’t get to keep it forever. You will have to buy the DVD or buy the title separately for that!
Downloading movies from digital stores or streaming services
There are other ways to download movies from Amazon Prime Video but they aren’t legal. You can use screen recording software, web apps that offer to download movies for you and likely other ways too. While illegal, it is sometimes necessary in order to maintain access to the content you pay for.
As someone who was around before streaming was a thing, before iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and the others cam along, you bought a hard copy of your media and you kept it. Then digital streaming came along and all that changed. Now you still hit a ‘Buy’ button but you don’t actually get to buy the media. You rent it.
Not everyone realizes that even though the button says Buy and the marketing implies you own the media, you don’t. You license it for use on the device or service it comes with. As soon as the studio or production company behind the media decides it’s time to rebrand it and monetize it all over again, they withdraw the media and it disappears from your device.
For example, in Amazon Prime Video’s terms of service, you see:
‘i. Availability of Purchased Digital Content. Purchased Digital Content will generally continue to be available to you for download or streaming from the Service, as applicable, but may become unavailable due to potential content provider licensing restrictions or for other reasons, and Amazon will not be liable to you if Purchased Digital Content becomes unavailable for further download or streaming.’
This is not unique to Amazon Prime Video and is not hidden in any way. In fact, Amazon’s terms are actually easy to read and to understand if you have the patience to do it. Apple has very similar terms here. Netflix is similar here.
The entire industry is massively biased in favor of the studios. You are fooled into thinking you are buying content to own and are in fact, merely renting it. It is apparently not against the law to fool you this way either as it should be ’widely understood’ that digital purchases of this nature may be transient due to actions outside the vendor’s hands.
So while you may want to support these services, play by the rules, pay for your content instead of pirate it and do what is right, the industry is still intent on ripping you off!