15 Scary TV Shows to Binge-Watch Over Halloween

tv-shows-halloween

The Halloween season is best known for nightmare-inducing horror films, but there are frightening TV shows worth watching too. With the TV horror genre on the rise, you can now scare yourself on a weekly basis—or binge-watch a scary series in a weekend. Keep in mind that most series are still limited by the restrictions of television, so don’t expect the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hereditary. But TV can be disturbing in other ways, so sit tight and enjoy hours of dread with these horror-themed TV shows. 1. American Horror Story With a name like American Horror Story, this…

Read the full article: 15 Scary TV Shows to Binge-Watch Over Halloween

The Halloween season is best known for nightmare-inducing horror films, but there are frightening TV shows worth watching too. With the TV horror genre on the rise, you can now scare yourself on a weekly basis—or binge-watch a scary series in a weekend.

Keep in mind that most series are still limited by the restrictions of television, so don’t expect the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hereditary. But TV can be disturbing in other ways, so sit tight and enjoy hours of dread with these horror-themed TV shows.

1. American Horror Story

horror-tv-show-american-horror-story

With a name like American Horror Story, this is clearly a show made for Halloween. Every season of American Horror Story explores a self-contained story, so you can view each season as a kind of miniseries.

This works great for the horror format because it can be difficult to stretch out horror for dozens of episodes. Some shows manage it well (see Hannibal below) but American Horror Story makes good use of its self-contained design to maximize thrills.

You can stream American Horror Story on: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

2. Hannibal

horror-tv-show-hannibal

Be warned: This show is INCREDIBLY graphic and gruesome. Flayed skin, lots of blood, piles of corpses, psychological and physical torture, and other forms of disturbing imagery abound in this horrific show.

The characters, direction, and narrative of Hannibal are all top-notch and award-worthy. However, there’s a reason why Hannibal had such a small viewership during its run: it’s often difficult to watch. I viewed most of this series peering through my fingers—and had to take frequent breaks because of how dark it could get.

Not much else needs to be said. Everyone knows Hannibal. This series is basically a re-imagined crime drama that’s loosely based on the source material.

You can stream Hannibal on: Amazon Prime Video

3. The X-Files

horror-tv-show-x-files

The X-Files is a long-running and recently-rebooted series beloved by fans and critics alike. It was one of the first shows to successfully mix standalone episodes with serial storylines, allowing it to deliver deep character developments while satisfyingly wrapping up each episode as a self-contained story.

Some of the episodes can be a bit hit-or-miss, but it’s still a thoroughly entertaining ride throughout—especially if you love mystery.

If you like The X-Files, you should also watch Fringe. Unfortunately, Fringe isn’t available on any streaming service as of this writing, but you can always buy the complete series of Fringe on Blu-ray.

You can stream The X-Files on: Hulu

4. The Walking Dead

horror-tv-show-walking-dead

A Halloween without zombies would not be Halloween at all, and we’d be remiss if we left out the most popular zombie show in the history of television. Season one started with 5 million viewers, but by season 5, 17 million viewers were tuning in. It’s a must-watch for zombie lovers.

However, do note one thing: even though The Walking Dead is packed with violence and zombie gore, this isn’t a zombie survival story. It’s a drama that happens to take place in a zombie apocalypse. If that sounds fine to you, then you’ll enjoy the show—especially if you speed through the slower parts.

You can stream The Walking Dead on: Netflix

5. Fear the Walking Dead

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Fear the Walking Dead is a spin-off from The Walking Dead, and even though it doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, it’s definitely noteworthy for its artistic and atmospheric merits. It’s also perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit.

You can stream Fear the Walking Dead on: Hulu

6. Stranger Things

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I fell in love with Stranger Things in its first 15 minutes. Few shows have managed to do what it did: develop a deep cast of children and adults and take them on a sprawling, epic journey in just eight episodes—all wrapped up in a satisfying yet open-to-possibilities ending.

There is a monster in this show, and it can get quite moody and dark at times. It might even scare you if you watch it alone at night with the lights off. But there’s a touching human story at its core that resonates, plus an abundance of 1980s nostalgia!

You can stream Stranger Things on: Netflix

7. Carnivale

horror-tv-show-carnivale

Carnivale is an underappreciated gem, and one of the many shows that make an HBO Now subscription worthwhile. It’s only two short seasons, making it the perfect show to binge-watch for Halloween.

Carnivale is a dark fantasy tale about a traveling carnival, and things aren’t what they seem on the surface. It’s an older show that feels dated at times, but if you can look past it, the story will suck you right in.

You can stream Carnivale on: Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now

8. Penny Dreadful

horror-tv-show-penny-dreadful

The name of this stylized horror show refers to the “penny dreadful” stories produced back in 19th century UK—printed tales that involved a lot of sensational, supernatural, and pulpy content matter. Penny Dreadful follows suit, but in much more intelligent ways.

It draws on many public domain characters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, and more. But the stories therein are unique, engrossing, and macabre. The end result is compelling, to say the least.

As a Showtime series, be warned that you’ll find a lot of mature content in many scenes. Naked cadavers and grotesque imagery are par for the course.

You can stream Penny Dreadful on: NetflixShowtime

9. Outcast

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From the original creator of The Walking Dead comes another horror series with much more character development than its more famous counterpart. It’s dark, creepy, but rooted in human relationships and community. All told, it’s a thrilling ride that actually gets better with each episode.

You can stream Outcast on: Cinemax

10. The Exorcist

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The Exorcist is a TV series based on the cult classic film of the same name. And while it isn’t nearly as nightmarish as the source material, it’ll leave an impact on you even after the first episode. It’s much scarier than primetime television should be, so viewers better beware.

You can stream The Exorcist on: Amazon Prime Video

11. Wayward Pines

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If you don’t have a Hulu subscription yet, you may want to sign up soon—at least until you can finish the first season of Wayward Pines. This series is based on the eponymous trilogy of books and faithfully adapts the material into a slow-burning mystery that gets more compelling with each twist. (Skip the second season, which involves a messy genre shift and a significant drop in writing quality.)

You can stream Wayward Pines on: Hulu

12. Supernatural

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Not many shows come close to the number of episodes in Supernatural, and we’re talking about hour-long episodes here. True, there are some real stinkers along the way, but Supernatural is impressive because it managed to stay generally consistent and on course for most of its run.

Long story short, this fantasy/horror series focuses on two brothers who investigate paranormal events and end up having all kinds of run-ins with ghosts, vampires, witches, angels, and demons. The massive mythology of Supernatural is its strongest aspect, so if you’re into that kind of storytelling, you’ll love this show.

You can stream Supernatural on: Netflix

13. Bates Motel

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Like Hannibal, Bates Motel is a movie-reimagined-for-television that tells the prequel story of Norman Bates—the famous serial killer from Psycho. While the show doesn’t reach the same award-winning heights as Hannibal, the overall experience is a solid one.

Leaning more towards thriller than outright horror, Bates Motel can still produce a ton of suspense and make you feel extremely uncomfortable when it’s firing on all cylinders. Worth a watch? Definitely.

You can stream Bates Motel on: Netflix

14. Hemlock Grove

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Hemlock Grove centers on the fictional town of Hemlock Grove, which gets upended when strange happenings start to occur—including a string of brutal murders. Though it debuted to mixed reviews, Netflix gave it a full three seasons to bring its story to a somewhat satisfying conclusion.

You can stream Hemlock Grove on: Netflix

15. Attack on Titan

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Don’t be put off by the fact that Attack on Titan is an anime. This show is very adult, particularly in the themes it tackles. Attack on Titan tells the horrific tale of a city that’s attacked by cataclysmic titans, all bolstered by a beautiful art style and stylish animations.

You’ll wince the first time you watch one of these massive titans grab an innocent human and chomp them in half. Dark, gruesome, yet driven by strong characters—the trifecta of great horror. Not to mention all of the great plot twists along the way. A fun but depressing ride, for sure.

You can stream Attack on Titan on: Hulu

Which Scary TV Shows Will You Watch?

We don’t recommend binge-watching every single one of these shows. Instead, pick one or two that appeal to you and set aside a few nights to take in the full experience. My personal must-watch recommendations are Hannibal (for adults who want truly dreadful horror) and Stranger Things (for something more on the family-friendly side).

If you want to supplement these shows with something more traditional, you ought to check out these classic horror films on Netflix.

Read the full article: 15 Scary TV Shows to Binge-Watch Over Halloween

Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What’s the Difference?

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When comparing streaming music services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, most people don’t think of Amazon. But the online giant has two different options to choose from: Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited. In this article, we take an in-depth look at both Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited to help you determine which one is right for you. What’s the Difference Between Them? The most notable difference between the two services, outside of price, is the number of songs available. Amazon Prime Music boasts more than 2 million songs compared to the “tens…

Read the full article: Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What’s the Difference?

amazon-music-unlimited-prime

When comparing streaming music services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, most people don’t think of Amazon. But the online giant has two different options to choose from: Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at both Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited to help you determine which one is right for you.

What’s the Difference Between Them?

The most notable difference between the two services, outside of price, is the number of songs available. Amazon Prime Music boasts more than 2 million songs compared to the “tens of millions” of tracks available on Amazon Music Unlimited.

For comparison, Spotify features more than 30 million tracks. So that’s a substantial difference to take notice of, especially if you’re a fan of more obscure music and artists.

Both Music Unlimited and Prime Music allow for unlimited skips and the ability to download songs to an app for offline listening. The services are also free of any advertisements.

What Does Amazon Music Unlimited Cost?

Amazon Music Unlimited Logo

New listeners can take advantage of a 30-day free trial for Amazon Music Unlimited. After that, the most affordable plan costs $3.99/month. But don’t get too excited just yet—that plan only gives you access to the service on one Alexa-enabled device like the Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Spot.

If you’re considering buying an Echo device, find out which Amazon Echo device is best for you.

If you’re a college or university student, there’s another way to subscribe for less: the discounted student plan costs $4.99/month and features all of the perks of a regular subscription. You will, however, need to verify enrollment in a degree-granting college or university to nab that option.

For Amazon Prime members, a regular Amazon Music Unlimited subscription costs $7.99/month or $79/year. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, the standard price is $9.99/month.

For multiple users, there is also a family plan that costs $14.99/month for up to six shared members. Amazon Prime members have the option to pay $149/year for the family plan.

On the other hand, Amazon Prime Music is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers. Take a look at our primer to decide which one of the Amazon Prime payment options will work best for you.

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, the biggest factor in deciding whether to pay more for Amazon Music Unlimited is whether Amazon Prime Music’s small selection of music is enough for you.

How to Listen to Amazon Prime Music/Music Unlimited

Amazon Music App Availability

Like Amazon Prime Music, you can access Amazon Music Unlimited through a web player or downloaded app. The Amazon Music app is available for just about every platform you can imagine, from an iPhone to your car.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest downsides for users is that the web player and PC/Mac apps aren’t as polished as the clients from more well-known streaming services. It might take some work to find what you’re looking for, and you’ll need to put in a little more effort than you do with Spotify or Apple Music, but they work. Eventually.

Comparing the Music Selections

As you might expect, with tens of millions of songs available, the music selection is significantly better on Amazon Music Unlimited than it is on Amazon Prime Music.

When comparing the two options, I found many more of the classic and modern artists I enjoy listening to on Amazon Music Unlimited. While there are a lot of great choices on Amazon Prime Music, the difference between the two is pretty obvious.

But the availability of your favorite music may be different depending on your own tastes. That’s a big reason you should take advantage of the 30-day free trial for Amazon Music Unlimited before making a commitment with your wallet.

Is Amazon Music Unlimited Worth Paying For?

The biggest question for most music fans is whether or not Amazon Music Unlimited is worth paying money for, especially when Amazon Prime Music is one of the overlooked perks of being an Amazon Prime member.

Obviously, it depends on whether you’re happy with the two million songs currently offered by Amazon Prime Music. To be fair to Amazon, that’s a huge number of songs. Whether your musical tastes are well represented, however, will depend a great deal on which genres and artists you like.

If you have wide-ranging tastes, listen to a lot of music, or just aren’t satisfied with the selection offered by Amazon Prime Music, the monthly fee to upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited is probably worth it. That’s unless you already use, and are happy with, other options like Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play Music.

If you’re new to the world of Amazon and are wondering whether an Amazon Prime subscription is worth the money, we’ll help you decide with our comprehensive primer for Amazon Prime.

Read the full article: Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What’s the Difference?

How to Watch Amazon Prime Video on Your TV With Chromecast

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Not all apps and services are compatible with Google’s Chromecast. One of those apps is Amazon Prime Video. While Netflix, Prime Video’s biggest rival, has been Chromecast-compatible from the start, Amazon Prime Video still lives in the dark ages. But there are a couple of ways around this lack of compatibility. In this article we show you how to watch Amazon Prime Video on your TV with Chromecast. Why Is There No Cast Button on Amazon Prime Video? These days, it’s hard to find any mainstream video or audio streaming app on Android that doesn’t have the cast button available….

Read the full article: How to Watch Amazon Prime Video on Your TV With Chromecast

chromecast-amazon-tv

Not all apps and services are compatible with Google’s Chromecast. One of those apps is Amazon Prime Video.

While Netflix, Prime Video’s biggest rival, has been Chromecast-compatible from the start, Amazon Prime Video still lives in the dark ages.

But there are a couple of ways around this lack of compatibility. In this article we show you how to watch Amazon Prime Video on your TV with Chromecast.

Why Is There No Cast Button on Amazon Prime Video?

These days, it’s hard to find any mainstream video or audio streaming app on Android that doesn’t have the cast button available.

So why doesn’t Amazon Prime Video offer the feature?

Well, as is so often the case, it’s due to bickering between the two companies. Amazon doesn’t offer a YouTube app on any of its many Fire TV devices; Google doesn’t sell its products on Amazon; Amazon doesn’t make Prime Video available on Chromecast. Childish tit-for-tat, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Note: If you’d like to discover apps that natively support the dongle, we’ve previously rounded up the best video apps for Chromecast and the best Audio apps for Chromecast.

Okay, let’s move on. Here’s how to watch Amazon Prime Video on your Chromecast.

Method 1: Use Chrome

If you run Google Chrome on any of your computers, you can play the video you want to watch in your browser and cast it directly to your Chromecast.

In the olden days (!), you needed to install a separate extension to be able to cast content directly from your browser. In the newer versions of Chrome, that’s no longer the case. Google has built the functionality directly into the browser.

Before proceeding, make sure your TV is turned on, and it’s displaying the correct input channel.

To begin the process of casting Amazon Prime Video to your Chromecast via Chrome, open your Chrome browser, head to the Amazon Prime Video website, and enter your login credentials. You need to find the video you want to watch, and press Play as normal.

Next, click on the More menu (three vertical dots) in the upper right-hand corner of the browser’s window. Select Cast from the pop-up menu.

chromecast select screen output from chrome

You should now see a new window with all the compatible devices that are on your network. Click on the name of the Chromecast you want to use. The connection should occur automatically.

Before resuming playback, it’s worth choosing Remote screen from the drop-down menu next to Show fullscreen videos on. It will prevent your film or TV series from playing on your laptop and your Chromecast at the same time.

The obvious drawback of using the desktop version of Chrome to cast Amazon Prime Video to your Chromecast is the lack of controls. You won’t be able to pause, fast-forward, rewind, or adjust other playback settings from the comfort of your sofa. Instead, you will need to make any changes on the computer you’re casting from.

Method 2: Cast Your Android’s Screen

Google and Amazon might be at war, but Amazon isn’t stupid enough not to offer a Prime Video app in the Play Store. And, because the app is there, you can use Android’s Cast Screen feature to display it on your TV.

Note: You cannot use Android Cast Screen with every site’s and app’s videos. If they use Silverlight, Flash, QuickTime, or VLC, it will not work. Luckily, Amazon Prime Video doesn’t use any of those technologies.

Using the Cast Screen feature is easy. Swipe down on your device’s notification bar and tap the Cast icon (it looks like a TV). You will see a list of all the compatible devices on your screen. Tap on the correct one, and a few seconds later you’ll see your phone’s screen displayed on your TV.

From this point, it’s just a case of using your phone to navigate to the Prime Video content you want to watch in the usual way. Just make sure you flip your phone into landscape mode and make the video full screen before you get comfortable.

The obvious benefit to this method compared to the previous approach is that you can control the video from your phone. However, there are three serious downsides you need to think about.

The first issue is privacy. You’re casting your entire Android’s screen rather than just content from a specific app. Whenever you receive a message, email, phone call, or notification, it’ll pop up on the screen for all to see. Depending on where you are or who you’re with, that might not be desirable behavior.

The second consideration is your battery. If you cast your entire phone’s screen, the video will play on both devices at the same time. If you turn off your phone’s screen, the TV will also go blank. Therefore, you realistically need to have a charger nearby if you’re planning a binge session (we’ve covered other ways to save battery on Android if you need further guidance)

The final problem is processing power. Because Amazon Prime Video is not Chromecast-enabled, your Android phone is doing all the background processing. Depending on your phone’s internal hardware, that can easily lead to stuttering, lagging, and poor resolution.

You can remedy the issue slightly by killing as many background processes as possible on your phone (Settings > Apps and Notifications > See all apps, click on an app’s name, and select Force stop), but it’s a far-from-ideal situation.

Should You Buy an Amazon Fire TV Device?

Of course, all these workarounds can be rendered moot if you buy an Amazon Fire TV device. Unsurprisingly, Amazon Prime Video is well integrated into the hardware. You’ll also get access to Alexa, Prime Photos, and plenty of third-party apps.

We’ve explained which Amazon Fire TV device is right for you if you’re not sure which one to buy.

Amazon and Google Need to Call a Truce

Listen, Amazon. We’re paying you good money every year. So we don’t expect you to intentionally restrict compatibility with one of the most popular cord-cutting devices in the world just because you have beef with Google.

Sort it out, or we’ll all collectively take our business to one of the many other streaming services available.

Read the full article: How to Watch Amazon Prime Video on Your TV With Chromecast

Amazon reveals plans for live streaming Thursday Night NFL

Amazon will begin live streaming Thursday night NFL games tonight. The coverage will offer unique features not seen before for this type of coverage.

Beginning today, Sept. 27, Amazon will start live streaming Thursday night NFL games for 2018. The coverage will offer unique features not seen before for this type of sports programming.... Read the rest of this post here


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The Amazonization of Whole Foods, one year in

Amazon promised to breathe new tech into the relationship with Whole Foods after putting a $13.7 billion ring on it one year ago. So how did that promise shake out? At the time, Amazon said the goal was to make “high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone.” Bananas, avocados and even tilapia was going to be […]

Amazon promised to breathe new tech into the relationship with Whole Foods after putting a $13.7 billion ring on it one year ago. So how did that promise shake out?

At the time, Amazon said the goal was to make “high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone.” Bananas, avocados and even tilapia was going to be cheaper than before. Prime members would receive increased benefits with discount rewards and Amazon drones would be delivering packages right to your door.

Okay, that last bit was not promised — though we’re not the first to speculate on that possibility in the future.

A bunch of other Amazon offerings involving delivery options were also mentioned, including the getting of Whole Food groceries through a then new Amazon Fresh grocery delivery program and Whole Foods private label products would be made available through Prime Now and Prime Pantry. Further, Amazon lockers would be showing up at select stores to make pick ups and returns easier for Amazon customers. And, of course, new jobs would be created to handle all the new infusion of technology.

Soon customers started to see Amazon Echo devices popping up in stores, urging people to install them in their home for easier grocery ordering through voice command. Echo dots lined the walls and could be found surrounded by produce. Amazon promised to deliver more devices to try in-store ahead of purchase as time went on.

Since the launch, “customers have already saved hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey. “So whether it’s better prices on your weekly shop, saving time through delivery from Prime Now or taking advantage of incredible weekly deals for Prime members, the overall customer experience is richer and more seamless than it’s ever been,” he continued.

I’m not sure the average customer would see the experience as “richer and more seamless” but the changes are noticeable. Walking into my local Whole Foods, the Amazon branding is everywhere from the deep orange lockers off to the side, the large, green Amazon Fresh coolers greeting me at the entrance to the parking lot and rows of bags ready for pickup and delivery via Amazon workers.

A large “Prime Member Deal” sign hangs down from the ceiling, greeting me at the front of the store. Beyond, there’s the produce, once fresh and free of rot with all organic labeling. Now? It’s unclear. I used to argue the “whole paycheck” prices were worth it for the better quality produce. Lately, I’ve had to throw a bunch of stuff out because it just doesn’t last as long or look as good. Not everything is organic.

Other shoppers have noticed the same dip in quality across the U.S., along with missing products or a lot of out of stock items they’d been buying for years at their grocery store.

It’s been called the “conventionalization” of Whole Foods by Wall Street investment bank Barclays, which also noted there had been some comments from Mackey about cultural “clashes” during his appearance at the American Production and Inventory Control society’s annual conference.

On the flip, Amazon has managed to add some nifty integrations for Prime members including club member style sales prices and five percent cash back for those purchasing groceries with their Prime Visa card. You want to do one better, just download the Amazon app to your smartphone, use the code given and then purchase with Apple pay using your Amazon Prime credit card for maximum benefits. Of course, that’s only for those all in with the system.

Adding to that, there’s the super fast two-hour delivery option (in 20 cities for now, with more to come this year, according to Amazon) and grocery pickup so you don’t even have to wander through the store to get everything you need (although, I am one of those who likes picking out my own produce and wandering through the store sometimes),

I’ve also enjoyed using the integrated partnership to order Whole Foods items straight from my Amazon Fresh account (a lifesaver in those early days of postpartum when it was impossible to get out of the house). Before the integration I could use Instacart but had to order from each store separately in different orders. With Amazon, I can order from various stores, including Whole Foods through my Amazon Fresh account all in one order and then choose a time for delivery.

There’s still some bumps with that process — you can’t order every item available in Whole Foods, just what Fresh offers that week through the Amazon platform. The bags are also large and often don’t fill up to their full potential, leaving a lot of waste. But that’s like complaining you can’t get good WiFi on an airplane. It’s frustrating but you are flying through the sky and messaging people on the ground. Similar, you are ordering food through the air waves and it shows up at your door step. In the grand scheme, it’s amazing!

Anyway, yes, there are more conveniences for Amazon Prime members and further integrations with technology to make the shopping experience easier. It does also seem Amazon has hired more workers to fulfill the needs this technology creates. At my own market it seems tough to tell who is an Amazon worker rummaging through the aisles for listed items and who’s just shopping for themselves these days.

Is the marriage working? Tough to tell at this point. Those promised changes may seem exciting for both parties but between disappointed shoppers and a “clash” in culture it may not have been what Whole Foods faithful wanted. Still, at least some vendors have said they’ve seen an increase in sales and volume of products sold since the acquisition, despite the drop in prices. And Mackey, comparing his love for his wife with the relationship said in a recent interview “I don’t love absolutely everything about my wife, either, but on balance I love, like, 98%. That’s a pretty good ratio, based on my previous relationships.”

It might not even matter what loyal Whole Foods customers think. The acquisition gives Amazon an opportunity to introduce its 100 million Prime members to the grocery store it envisions — one that could drop organic, fossil fuel free groceries via drone at their doorstep in the future.

While it’s hard to know how the partnership has impacted Amazon’s bottom line overall, we do know sales going up and to the right is a good thing. We still need to see how this relationship performs over time but one year in looks promising.

Amazon’s children’s book subscription ‘Prime Book Box’ opens to all in the U.S.

Amazon today publicly launched a new perk for Prime members with young children, with the broad release of the new subscription-based “Prime Book Box” service. The $22.99 per box offering ships Prime members in the U.S. a curated selection of kids’ books every 1, 2 or 3 months, at up to 35% off the list […]

Amazon today publicly launched a new perk for Prime members with young children, with the broad release of the new subscription-based “Prime Book Box” service. The $22.99 per box offering ships Prime members in the U.S. a curated selection of kids’ books every 1, 2 or 3 months, at up to 35% off the list price, Amazon says. The service was first launched in May, but was only available in an invite-only basis at that time.

Members will receive 2 hardcover books or 4 board books per box, depending on the child’s age.

The books chosen are curated by Amazon editors and include a combination of new releases, classics and “hidden gems,” and are tailored to the reader’s age range of “Baby-2,” “3-5,” “6-8,” or “9-12.” For example, some current selections include Amazing Airplanes, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Malala’s Magic Pencil, and Nevermoor. 

However, parents can log on to the Book Box site and preview their selections before the box ships, then customize the list as they choose. This would make sense for families with an existing book collection – because their child is older, an avid reader, or because they have hand-me-down books from other children.

If they’re new parents just starting their book collection, they may instead opt to just wait for their shipment, and have the books be a surprise.

The Book Box FAQ also noted that Amazon will use members’ recent purchase history on its site to make sure the box doesn’t include any books the customer had already purchased.

“As a mom who’s spent over 20 years reading and reviewing children’s books, the best part of my job is sharing a love of reading with kids and their families,” said Seira Wilson, Senior Editor, Amazon Books, in a statement about the launch. “Over the past few months, it’s been both exciting and rewarding to hear that Prime Book Box is encouraging kids to spend more time reading. Now that Prime Book Box is available to all U.S. Prime members, I hope we can inspire even more children to discover a love of reading that will last a lifetime.”

The Book Box service is another way for Amazon to retain Prime members – especially the valuable memberships from heads of U.S. households, who are likely to spend more on the retailer’s e-commerce site, as they have more people using the Prime membership.

And, as TechCrunch previously noted, the service will also help Amazon to build a reading profile for the family’s younger members, which can help it to improve its recommendations across the board.

It’s worth pointing out, too, that physical book subscription startups aimed at children have tried and failed to make such a service work, in the past. For example, Sproutkin, The Little Book Club, and Zoobean, are no more.

The challenge for some of these startups was bringing the cost down – something Amazon appears to have managed through its existing publisher relationships. But even in the case of those startups that had offered more affordable plans, they simply didn’t have the reach that Amazon does.

The timing for the startups may have been off, as well – they arrived at a time before we had fully embraced the idea of subscriptions for everything. Today, it’s commonplace.

Plus, Amazon also allows members to control the pace of the shipments further – you don’t have to pay monthly, which can help to attract the more budget-minded shoppers.

Book Box is now one of many subscription boxes Amazon offers. Others include Candy Club, beauty and skin care boxes, STEM Club Toys, and Carnivore Club. It also sells a variety of sample boxes to introduce brands to shoppers.

The service is open today for U.S. Prime members.

 

The 20 Best Movies to Watch on Amazon Prime

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One of the benefits of an Amazon Prime membership is that you get access to its large catalog of free streaming movies. So what should you watch first? A good place to start is to sort Amazon Prime Video’s movies by their rating on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). It helps that IMDb is a part of Amazon, and it is a decent way to get a trusted list of movies to watch. In this article, we found some of the best-rated movies on Amazon Prime Video. 1. The Usual Suspects IMDb: 8.6 Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Often referenced as the…

Read the full article: The 20 Best Movies to Watch on Amazon Prime

amazon-prime-video-best

One of the benefits of an Amazon Prime membership is that you get access to its large catalog of free streaming movies. So what should you watch first?

A good place to start is to sort Amazon Prime Video’s movies by their rating on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). It helps that IMDb is a part of Amazon, and it is a decent way to get a trusted list of movies to watch.

In this article, we found some of the best-rated movies on Amazon Prime Video.

1. The Usual Suspects

  • IMDb: 8.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

Often referenced as the greatest plot twist in cinemas, The Usual Suspects is a classic thriller. The police interrogate a low-level gang member, who slowly spills the beans on a massive crime operation. Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey puts in a masterful performance, while director Bryan Singer is on top of his game. Watch this one even if you’ve seen it already. The twist only gets better when you know what’s coming.

2. Raiders Of The Lost Ark

  • IMDb: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

The Indiana Jones franchise brings together two stalwarts of Hollywood, director Steven Spielberg and actor Harrison Ford. As the original tomb raider, Indy goes on wild adventures hunting for treasure, rescuing damsels in distress, meeting sidekicks, and kicking the butt of evil-doers. The best of the series is the first film, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, but you can watch all the sequels on Amazon Prime too:

3. The Big Sick

  • IMDb: 7.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon turned their real-life story into one of the best recent slice-of-life comedies. Just after they broke up for the first time, Emily got a serious illness, and Kumail had to be a pillar of support for her parents, played by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter. This is perhaps the best film from Amazon Studios so far.

4. The Kid

Charlie Chaplin is more renowned for his slapstick comedy, but he gets special recognition among filmmakers as a master of the art. In The Kid, Chaplin plays his classic character, The Tramp, who comes across an abandoned boy and takes him in. It’s a movie with more soul than you’d expect if you view Chaplin as just a comic actor. If this film leaves you wanting more, you can watch Chaplin films on YouTube for free, since they are now in the public domain.

5. Mulholland Drive

  • IMDb: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

When it was released in 2001, Mulholland Drive was critically acclaimed, but few realized it would end up becoming one of the pivotal films of Hollywood. It’s a simple plot of a woman who suffers from amnesia after an accident, and wants to find out who she really is. She teams up with an aspiring actress, and they set off piecing her life back together. Director David Lynch has a knack for bringing out Americana in movies like few others can.

6. Raging Bull

  • IMDb: 8.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

When director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro join forces, you are almost guaranteed a masterpiece. Raging Bull is the story of real-life boxer Jake LaMotta, played by De Niro, and an incredible look at the violence in the lives of boxers, both inside and outside the ring. Admittedly, LaMotta was an extreme case that made for great drama, but you don’t have to look too far among boxers to find similar stories.

7. Manchester By The Sea

  • IMDb: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Lee, an ill-tempered loner, is faced with the sudden death of his brother, and is named the guardian of his nephew. This is a mess of complications for Lee, who has lost three children to a house fire years ago. Casey Affleck’s performance got panned by the critics when the movie was released, but he eventually earned himself the Academy Award for Best Actor.

8. Gone With The Wind

  • IMDb: 8.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara. Based on the classic novel, director Victor Fleming takes you through a torrid affair in the American south during the Civil War. Multiple critics and filmmakers call it the best love story they’ve ever seen on screen. Frankly my dear, you should give a damn.

9. There Will Be Blood

  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Perhaps the best actor in Hollywood today, Daniel Day Lewis provides a once-in-a-lifetime performance as Daniel Plainview, an oil prospector around the Depression era. Director Paul Thomas Anderson adds even more depth to the movie with his expert use of sound, which is taught in film-making schools today. Watch it for the best acting performance you’ll see in a long time.

10. Paper Moon

  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Another film set during the Great Depression, Paper Moon is the tale of a con man who has to deliver an ex-lover’s child to her aunt. But there is a chance that the child may actually be his. Real-life father-daughter duo Ryan O’Neal and Tatum O’Neal take you along on their journey as they swindle their way across America.

11. Memories Of Murder

  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

For some time now, Korean cinema has been making movies that seem a few steps ahead of what the rest of the world has. Movies like Oldboy and Infernal Affairs have gotten remade by Hollywood. If you want a taste of Korean cinema, start with Memories of Murder, where three detectives try to find the culprit behind multiple girls showing up raped and murdered. If you aren’t particular about Amazon Prime, then there are some excellent foreign language films on Netflix as well.

12. The Handmaiden

  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Amazon Studios believes in Korean cinema too, backing director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, In The Mood For Love, Lady Vengeance) for his new film. And he delivered in spades with The Handmaiden. Set in the 1930s, when Japan occupied Korea, it’s the tale of a long con that goes awry when feelings get involved. Saying any more would spoil things.

13. Last Flag Flying

  • IMDb: 6.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne star in Richard Linklater’s buddy film from Amazon Studios. The three served together years ago in the Vietnam War, and now Carell asks them to come along for support while going to retrieve the body of his son who was killed in the Iraq War. What follows is classic Linklater material, with a film that is all about the conversations between people.

14. A Christmas Carol

  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

There are plenty of different versions of Charles Dickens’ classic story, and this is one of the best. This 1951 film tells the classic tale of a miser who gets visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Add it to your watch list, and when you’re feeling festive, stream it over and over.

15. Into The Wild

  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Christopher McCandless graduated from college, sold all his possessions, and set off on a cross-country trip to go to Alaska and live in the wilderness. Director Sean Penn retraces McCandless’s journey through the natural beauty of America, while Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder provides a soundtrack for the ages. If you’re inspired by it, you can even retrace McCandless’s steps as one of these famous film routes.

16. Jaws

  • IMDb: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Spielberg is one of the biggest directorw in Hollywood for a reason. His filmography reads like a list of must-watch items. Jaws is a classic about three men hunting a great white shark that is attacking people near a beach. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on perhaps the greatest monster movie of all time. If you’ve seen it already, then you know you should watch it again anyway.

17. High Noon

  • IMDb: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

What’s a “best movies” list without a classic western? And it doesn’t get more classic than Gary Cooper as Marshall Will Kane, setting up a duel with an outlaw and his gang at high noon in an old town. High Noon served as the inspiration for countless westerns, and Cooper is the quintessential example of the current stereotype of the swashbuckling sheriff. The only person to top him is John Wayne (and there are plenty of John Wayne westerns to watch online).

18. Star Trek

  • IMDb: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

You can spend ages debating the merits of Star Trek vs. Star Wars, or you can just watch the latest Trek movie franchise right now. The reboot is fantastic and re-imagines several things about Star Trek, so you don’t need to know everything about Star Trek beforehand. Jump in to the Enterprise with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, and stream what so many have streamed before.

19. The Graduate

  • IMDb: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

Few movies encapsulate the non-hippie, non-political side of 1960s America like The Graduate. It mixes comedy, coming of age, and drama without appearing corny. A lot of the scenes might look cliched if you watch them for the first time now, but let the great critic Roger Ebert explain it: “Is ‘The Graduate’ a bad movie? Not at all. It is a good topical movie whose time has passed, leaving it stranded in an earlier age. I give it three stars out of delight for the material it contains; to watch it today is like opening a time capsule.”

20. Chi-raq

  • IMDb: 5.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 81%

An Amazon Originals movie, director Spike Lee’s Chi-raq isn’t for everyone. It shines an unrelenting spotlight on gun violence in the black community in Chicago, with a dark sense of humor laced throughout. It’s an adaptation of Lysistrata, a classic Greek play in which women withhold sex from their partners till they end the violence.

Amazon Has Much More to Watch

While these movies will get you started, there are plenty of other good movies that didn’t make quite the list. To see what’s available on Amazon Prime, use this Movies Included With Prime shortcut, or read our full guide to finding movies available to stream online.

Of course, Amazon Prime Video isn’t all about movies. You should also check out some of the best TV shows to watch on Amazon Prime!

Image Credit: Syda_Productions/Depositphotos

Read the full article: The 20 Best Movies to Watch on Amazon Prime

Is Amazon Prime Worth Your Money? We Help You Decide!

amazon-prime-worthy

Amazon Prime is over 13 years old and still growing, entering a period of unrivaled global dominance. Once no more than a free shipping offer, Amazon Prime is now a multifaceted service many subscribers cannot live without. But is Amazon Prime worth it? You could sign up for a 30-day free trial and see for yourself, but if you’re unsure, here’s everything you need to know to make an informed decision. What Do You Get With Amazon Prime? There are so many Amazon Prime benefits to love. You can pick up a Prime subscription in the UK, France, Japan, Canada,…

Read the full article: Is Amazon Prime Worth Your Money? We Help You Decide!

amazon-prime-worthy

Amazon Prime is over 13 years old and still growing, entering a period of unrivaled global dominance. Once no more than a free shipping offer, Amazon Prime is now a multifaceted service many subscribers cannot live without.

But is Amazon Prime worth it? You could sign up for a 30-day free trial and see for yourself, but if you’re unsure, here’s everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

What Do You Get With Amazon Prime?

There are so many Amazon Prime benefits to love. You can pick up a Prime subscription in the UK, France, Japan, Canada, and several other countries, but you’ll have to check regional subscription fees. In this article, we focus on the US subscription.

Amazon Prime’s biggest perk is free shipping and free two-day deliveries. These perks are the backbone of Amazon Prime and part of why over 20 million people maintain their subscriptions. Also, Prime also reduces the costs of certain one-day deliveries and Saturday deliveries.

Amazon Prime’s second biggest (arguably biggest) draw is Prime Video. Amazon Prime Video is packed full of films and shows, as well as extremely well-received original programming such as The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Mr. Robot. Amazon Studios even took home two Academy Awards for Manchester by the Sea.

For many, these two perks alone make the subscription worthwhile. There’s a lot more on offer, too, such as Twitch Prime, Prime Wardrobe, Prime Early Access, Prime Reading, Prime Photos, and much more.

Let’s take a closer look at the overall value of your Amazon Prime subscription.

How Much Does Amazon Prime Cost?

An Amazon Prime subscription costs $119/year up front. However, Amazon also offers a $12.99/month plan (for a full Prime membership) and an $8.99/month plan (for only Prime Video). There’s also a separate plan for Amazon Music Unlimited, more on that below.

How Much Is Amazon Prime for Students?

Prime Student comes with two major benefits:

All you need is your .edu address to send your verification email address too. Learn more about the specific perks of an Amazon Prime Student account

Can I Share the Cost of Amazon Prime?

You sure can!

Amazon Household allows you and up to five family members (and four kids!) or buddies team-up to share the cost of an Amazon Prime account. Amazon Household breaks down like so:

  • Two adults (ages 18 and over), each with their own Amazon account.
  • Profiles for up to four teenagers (available for ages 13 through 17), which allow teens to have their own Amazon login to shop or stream content while still keeping their parents informed.
  • Up to four child profiles (suggested for ages 12 and under), which they can use on Amazon experiences geared towards children like Amazon FreeTime; child profiles are not enabled to shop on Amazon.

The adults share their Prime benefits with the rest of the family.

Can I Give Amazon Prime as a Gift?

That’s another big yes! Hit up the Amazon Prime gifting page where you can choose from a three-month or full-year subscription.

What Does Amazon Prime 2-Day Shipping Mean?

Free two-day shipping is the perk that brought many people to Prime in the first place. But where does the real value in Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping costs lie?

Amazon dropped its regular free shipping trigger to $25, making it much easier for non-Prime subscribers to take advantage of. Items display “[price] & FREE Shipping” if it’s available, or “Eligible for FREE Shipping” in your basket. Check out the below example.

amazon delivery review

It qualifies for free shipping, but that takes over five days and up to eight. Two-day shipping—the key feature of Amazon Prime—comes in at $12.67 for this item. That makes nearly ten purchases before you recoup the cost of your subscription. However, free two-day shipping doesn’t apply to every item. And many items purchased through Amazon Prime are more expensive, which could increase your overall spending.

Of course, the difference might be made up for by shipping and isn’t likely to break anyone’s budget. But a few bucks here and there can add up, particularly for heavy Amazon users. Once you’re a Prime member, pricing for Prime-eligible vendors will be prioritized when you’re logged in, which means you may end up paying more unless you’re meticulous about checking deals offered by third-party vendors.

How About Free Same-Day and One-Day Delivery?

In recent years, Amazon upped the delivery game, offering free same-day and one-day delivery in certain ZIP codes.

  • Free Same-Day: Order before midday, receive your item before 9pm. Items after midday arrives the following morning.
  • Free One-Day: Order in the afternoon, is received before 9pm the following day.

Items must be marked “free-same day” for same-day delivery, and likewise for free one-day. You cannot mix and match. There are over 8,000 participating cities and towns across the continental US, and you can check your eligibility here.

However, Prime users should note that the free delivery only kicks in for orders over $35. Orders below that threshold cost up to $5.99 per item to deliver!

amazon prime delivery costs

Furthermore, non-Prime members can make use of Same-Day and One-Day delivery, but it can cost up to $9.98 per item. At that point, is it easier to just drive to a store or use regular shipping? You have to weigh it up on an individual item basis.

Is Amazon Prime Video Worth It?

Amazon Prime Video is one of the main contenders to the Netflix video streaming crown. When you glance through the masses of award-winning original programming, it’s easy to see why. Prime Video functions similarly to Netflix, Hulu, and other popular video-on-demand services.

Prime Video is a core Prime subscription feature. However, you can grab a Prime Video-only subscription for $8.99/month—without the other perks of a full Prime account.

Considering a Prime Video-only subscription? Think twice. The $119/year fee equates to $9.91/month, so paying the extra $0.98 for free shipping isn’t even a question.

How does Prime Video compare to Netflix? Both Prime Video and Netflix see choices come and go as old contracts expire and new ones are inked. Both do a decent job of streaming recent blockbuster movies, and both have a good (but incomplete) selection of older television shows. Amazon has invested a huge amount into their original programming and it shows.

Want to try before you buy? Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime Video!

What Are Amazon Channels?

Amazon Channels are an Amazon Prime subscriber service that allows you to select the content you want to watch—for a cost, of course.

For instance, here’s a short list of some popular Amazon Channels and their respective cost:

Although costly, Amazon Channels frequently updates content, and new channels are appearing all the time.

Is Amazon Prime Music Any Good?

Amazon Prime Music gives subscribers access to over 2 million ad-free tracks. Like Spotify, you can stream playlists curated by “music experts” or personalize your own radio stations.

Like Amazon Prime Video, Prime Music has consistently improved and is now a serious contender in the digital music subscription pantheon.

amazon music plans

The basic Amazon Prime Music catalog is large but cannot hold a candle to other music streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer.

However, like Amazon Prime Video, you can purchase a separate Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for $9.99/month. The Amazon Prime Unlimited subscription includes around 40 million ad-free tracks, making it a serious contender amongst the music streaming services.

If you’re interested, you can sign up for an Amazon Music free trial.

How Does Amazon Prime Pantry Work?

Amazon Prime Pantry is Amazon’s grocery and household product delivery service. You can order a vast range of bits and bobs for your home and have them delivered in a nice big box direct to your door.

The “Prime” title, for me, is a little misleading. Prime Pantry delivery isn’t included in the basic Prime subscription. Each Prime Pantry box you order costs $7.99. However, if you pick up a Prime Pantry membership at the cost of $4.99/month, each order over $40 comes with free delivery. That’s a combined cost of $17.98.

Existing Prime members can grab an Amazon Prime Pantry free trial.

Is AmazonFresh Free for Prime Members?

AmazonFresh is an Amazon Prime exclusive “perk.” Whereas Amazon Prime Pantry has a focus on every household item including groceries, AmazonFresh primarily focuses on fresh produce. That said, the lines are increasingly blurred. AmazonFresh also offers baby ointment, diapers, sports protein powders, razors, batteries, and much more.

In addition, AmazonFresh allows you to shop locally, or at least within your city. For instance, you can buy meat from local(ish) butchers in London. I say “ish” because the options are well-known butchers and delicatessens, but the idea is nice.

AmazonFresh schedule within one-hour slots if you’re at home, and three-hour slots if you want your produce left on the doorstep (in temperature-controlled bags). Orders over $50 are free to subscribers, but anything below that threshold receives a $9.99 delivery charge.

An AmazonFresh subscription costs an extra $14.99/month on top of your Amazon Prime membership. The combined fee is $298.88 ($119 for the base Amazon Prime subscription plus $179.88 for AmazonFresh).

Want to give it a try? Sign up for an AmazonFresh free trial.

How Does Prime Now Work?

Prime Now is another specialized delivery perk for Amazon Prime subscribers. Like Free Same-Day and One-Day, Prime Now depends on your locale. If you are one of the lucky ones, a Prime Now delivery will arrive within two hours.

For an additional delivery charge, you can have your items within an hour (the delivery charge varies depending on your order).

Like many Amazon Prime features, Prime Now started small but now encompasses tens of thousands of items. You can order ice-cold beer, ready-made puddings and fresh produce from Whole Foods (owned by Amazon), laptops, smartphones, hand soap, and on, and on. Prime Now is like Prime Pantry after a really strong coffee.

Amazon Restaurants

Who said Amazon isn’t able to compete in every market? No-one, that’s who. Stepping up to compete with home-delivery apps such as Seamless and Grubhub, as well as eating into Uber Eats market share, Amazon Restaurants deliver from a wide range of restaurants on orders over $10.

Amazon Restaurants is available in the same locations as Prime Now.

Does Amazon Twitch Prime Get Free Stuff?

Amazon isn’t just music, video, and inflatable flamingos. Amazon bought video-game streaming service Twitch back in 2014, and the platform has continued to grow year-on-year. And while Twitch Prime is a little niche, it does offer some great loot for gamers.

For instance, Twitch Prime subscribers get ad-free viewing, an exclusive “chat badge,” and a new Twitch channel subscription to use every 30-days on Partnered/Affiliate channels (boosting the video game streamers income). Furthermore, Twitch Prime comes with exclusive in-game loot as well as frequent free games and DLC packs.

twitch prime loot

Is Audible Free for Amazon Prime Members?

Amazon’s Audible audiobook service also receives its own Amazon Prime perk. You won’t have access to the outstanding Audible range. But Amazon Prime members will have access to a rotating selection of audiobook.

To sweeten the deal, Prime members also receive access to a premium Audible Channels. Channels provide ad-free podcasts, audio versions of articles from major publications, comedy shows, and other original audio content.

Are There Any More Amazon Prime Perks?

Actually, there are. The cost of an Amazon Prime subscription may rise, but the number of perks rises with it. In short, here are a few more Amazon Prime perks to consider:

  • Amazon Prime Day: Amazon Prime Day is Amazon’s way of saying thank you to its members… by encouraging us to buy more stuff! Irony aside, Prime Day is expanding each year to include better deals and more exclusive offers for members.
  • Prime Photo: Unlimited cloud photo storage, plus more storage for documents. You can also invite family members to contribute to your unlimited photo storage to build the ultimate family collection.
  • Prime Reading: Borrow books, magazines, and other literature from the Prime Reading catalog.
  • Amazon Elements: Amazon’s line of everyday essentials, exclusive to Prime members, featuring vitamins, protein powders, baby wipes, and more.
  • Prime Wardrobe: Taking aim at online clothing retailers, Prime Wardrobe allows you to try on clothing at home, then send it back if you’re not happy. Purchase more than $200 of clothing, and you’ll receive a $20 discount, too.
  • Amazon FreeTime Unlimited: Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is a comprehensive subscription to children’s content: books, shows, movies, educational apps, and much more. Parents use a separate overview app to control and monitor screen time limits, age-content filters, and more.
  • Free No-Rush Shipping: Not everyone knows this, but if an Amazon Prime subscriber doesn’t need their item straight away, you can choose Free No-Rush Shipping. Why would you do that if you already pay for expedited delivery? Well, Amazon throws in some neat bonuses for those that can relax about their delivery.
  • EBT and Medicaid Discount: Citizens receiving EBT or Medicaid can pick up an Amazon Prime membership for $5.99/month.

Is Amazon Prime Worth It?

I certainly think so. Amazon continues to add perks and features to the Amazon Prime package to increase the overall value. And even if you’re an infrequent Amazon shopper, free two-day shipping is a lifesaver at times.

I’ve had an Amazon Prime subscription for five years now. Why not grab a 30-day free trial and try out the features for yourself? You can always cancel it if you’re not happy.

Read the full article: Is Amazon Prime Worth Your Money? We Help You Decide!

What to Watch on Amazon Prime Video in September 2018

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Every month, Amazon makes a bunch of new TV shows and movies available on its Prime Video subscription streaming service. Join us as we look ahead to some of the best new video content to watch in September 2018. Note: Prime Video is only one of the many awesome benefits of an Amazon Prime membership! 1. Ghostbusters I and II It might be a little early for Halloween, but it’s never a bad time to reminisce about 1980s movies. The 1984 original won more plaudits than the 1989 sequel, but both Ghostbusters films are staple viewing for any cinema fan….

Read the full article: What to Watch on Amazon Prime Video in September 2018

prime-video-feb

Every month, Amazon makes a bunch of new TV shows and movies available on its Prime Video subscription streaming service. Join us as we look ahead to some of the best new video content to watch in September 2018.

Note: Prime Video is only one of the many awesome benefits of an Amazon Prime membership!

1. Ghostbusters I and II

It might be a little early for Halloween, but it’s never a bad time to reminisce about 1980s movies.

The 1984 original won more plaudits than the 1989 sequel, but both Ghostbusters films are staple viewing for any cinema fan.

2. Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire manages to please both sports fans and romcom lovers with the tale of an NFL agent who has an epiphany about his journey in life.

Tom Cruise plays the lead role.

3. King Lear

King Lear is a 2018 co-production between Amazon and the BBC. It is a modern adaptation of the famous Shakespeare play.

The story takes place in 21st century London and tells the story of the king’s descent into madness.

4. Sleepless in Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle, a romcom which was released in 1993, sees Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan play the lead roles.

The movie was nominated for two Oscars and two BAFTAs.

5. Forever

The latest Amazon Original series is Forever. It joins a long list of highly watchable Amazon Original content.

The series follows the lives of Oscar and June. They lead a typical married life until an innocent ski trip develops into an unexpected situation.

Forever goes live on September 14.

6. There Will Be Blood

2007 drama movie There Will Be Blood won two Oscars—Best Actor and Best Picture—and was nominated for a further six.

Daniel Day-Lewis plays the role of Daniel Plainview, an oilman who is ruthlessly trying to exploit the California oil boom around the turn of the last century.

7. Wishenpoof Season 2

Wishenpoof is an Amazon Original kids’ show about Bianca, a young girl who can make wishes come true.

The first season was a critical success; the much-awaited second season goes live on September 7.

More Movies and TV Shows on Amazon Prime Video

These seven new shows and films are the ones that caught our eye, but there are more than 50 new releases scheduled to become available. The highlights include The Usual Suspects, Darkest Hour, and Watchmen.

And don’t forget all the great content that’s already on the service, including the best movies on Amazon Prime and the best TV shows on Amazon Prime Video.

Read the full article: What to Watch on Amazon Prime Video in September 2018

Now is the time for Walmart to strike at Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has been an enormous influence on e-commerce, but this online juggernaut is beginning to show cracks. Now is the time for arch-rival Walmart to swoop in with a Prime-like offering that strikes at the weaknesses Amazon has introduced into its formidable loyalty program: price, a lack of focus, and competing subscription services.

Amazon Prime has been an enormous influence on e-commerce, but this online juggernaut is beginning to show cracks. Now is the time for arch-rival Walmart to swoop in with a Prime-like offering that strikes at the weaknesses Amazon has introduced into its formidable loyalty program: price, a lack of focus, and competing subscription services.

Here’s the problem. Amazon has invested in its Prime program continuously, adding feature after feature in an obvious bid to make the service appear as valuable as possible. But while these additions are superfluous to many a user’s needs, everyone pays for them whether they’re used or not.

That’s part of the strategy, of course — if you know your customer won’t stop paying for a subscription, you can use that to squeeze the life out of other subscriptions they might pay for, and redirect that money to yourself. Prime Video and Music, for example, are clearly meant to take the place of Netflix or HBO and Spotify or Apple Music. Why pay for two? And if you have to choose, well, it’s easier to quit HBO than Prime.

This only goes so far, though. For years users have been subject to these pressures, watching the price of Prime rise all the while, and meanwhile other services are getting better and better. Streaming services and exclusive content have multiplied, and Prime users are frequently left out in the cold.

Photo storage? Isn’t that free everywhere? Twitch Prime? Is that really useful for millions of working families? Prime Originals? Not exactly raking in the Emmys. But still… it’s Prime. It’s necessary.

The only one who can realistically break this deadlock is Walmart. Not by providing the same thing as Amazon, but by providing something simpler and more focused, taking over the workhorse duties of Prime (shipping, sales, some basic media of opportunity) at a much lower price, granting the customer freedom to pursue their own choice in subscriptions while not meaningfully affecting their online retail experience.

What would this Walmart offering consist of? They already offer free shipping on a lot of items, free store pickup, and so on. You don’t need to use your imagination here. What would make this better? Free 2-day shipping on all items with no minimum amount; grocery and secure package delivery; a set of basic TV and music streams or even just a partnership with a couple existing products; and lastly some in-store benefits like members-only promotions and perhaps even early access on Black Friday. (Plus extra perks at sub-chains like Sam’s Club.)

Leveraging Walmart’s brick and mortar presence is important, but it’s hard to say what they have the leeway to try there, as it’s likely a delicate balance. But it’s a major advantage to have regular visitors to major retail locations, whereas Amazon has to either home-deliver or install lockers.

There are already indications this is happening — a pilot with a smart-lock company for home delivery, a rumored streaming service, cashierless(ish) checkout (even easier with an account), revamping of existing grocery delivery partnerships, emphasis on cloning or promoting existing services that match or exceed Amazon’s… it looks a lot like a shift to an end-to-end loyalty service.

There are rumors of a Microsoft-powered standalone smart device, but that might conflict with existing voice-ordering partnership with Google. Still, voice assistants are hot and Walmart needs an answer to Alexa if it wants to compete directly with Amazon in the living room. A possible acquisition of Shopify could conceivably broaden the company’s reach considerably as well.

How much would it cost? I’d say if they go about $50 per year they’re asking for trouble. It’s one of those magic numbers not just on its own, but in relation to Amazon’s $120 per year. $60 would be merely half price — $50, why that’s positively generous!

And the considerable savings opens up a bit of cash for secondary subscriptions like Netflix, which ends up, ironically, causing consumers to lock themselves into Walmart just as they were with Amazon, since once again they can’t switch easily! But they will almost certainly be getting more for their money.

Naturally $50 won’t pay for all that stuff on Walmart’s side — but building brand loyalty on the scale of years, while sucking a customer from a competitor… that’s worth spending a little cash for.

Timing-wise they’d want to announce this well ahead of the holidays — at least three months. First three months free if you sign up now and all that. It’ll be a big cash outlay but you don’t unseat a titan like Amazon on a shoestring budget. You do what it takes to put items in carts and go from there.

Walmart won’t risk its business on this, but it makes sense to do it now and do it with vigor. Walmart doesn’t get by on word of mouth — it needs a full court press ahead of Amazon’s busiest period, in which it can unequivocally say “This is the better option for you. Switch now and you’ll never look back.”

The real question is: what will they call it? MartLand? WalSmart? Or perhaps… Wal Street?