At Good Good Good, we’ve been working on an ongoing series about alternatives to Amazon to help all of us detangle ourselves from the grasps of the trillion-dollar company.
And this is where things get tricky.
In 2010, Amazon launched Amazon Studios — a television and film producer and distributor that has since produced Emmy- and Academy Award-winning shows and films like Transparent, Manchester by the Sea, The Salesman, The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the new Lord of the Rings series.
Around the same time, Amazon launched Amazon Prime Instant Video as a digital streaming competitor to Netflix — where they would host Amazon Originals (produced by Amazon Studios) as well as licensed content from other platforms and studios.
Amazon Originals are available exclusively through Prime Video — which means there’s essentially nowhere else you can watch them, except through Amazon. But there are some ways to work around this.
If you’re a pop culture nerd but are also trying to keep your money from going to Bezos, this article is for you.
How to Watch Amazon Originals Without Supporting Amazon
If you’re heavily invested in the next season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (who isn’t?), but want to minimize the money you spend with Amazon, you have a few options:
1. Subscribe ONLY to Prime Video
Your first option is to subscribe only to Prime Video without subscribing to a full Amazon Prime subscription.
It’s a cheaper rate, and not having easy access to Prime shipping will probably help minimize the temptation to order something random with 2-day shipping.
2. Just use someone else’s Prime account
Your second option is to piggyback on someone else’s Amazon Prime or Amazon Video subscription. If a roommate or family member has an account, you can watch your favorite movies and shows on their account without increasing Amazon’s total number of Prime members.
(You just need to make sure you’re following Amazon’s Household terms of service for who it’s appropriate for you to share an Amazon account with. We’re not endorsing breaking terms of service.)
3. Catch Amazon Originals in theaters
Your third option is to just catch Amazon Originals in the theaters when you can.
Unlike Netflix, which releases most of its films exclusively on Netflix, Amazon often releases its Amazon Studios films in theaters first — and then brings them to Prime Video later.
While seeing an Amazon Originals film like The Big Sick or One Night In Miami in theaters will still give some money to Amazon, you’ll also be supporting a local theater in the process.
(And by voting and calling your elected officials, you have more direct ability to ensure local employees are paid a living wage in your community.)
If you see a matinee, you’ll likely be spending less money than you’d spend on a monthly subscription anyway.
4. Buy a DVD
Your fourth option is to buy a DVD. Most Amazon Originals have historically been released as DVDs, which you can buy new or used from a website that isn’t Amazon.
Again, while some money will make its way back to Amazon, they’re going to get way less than they would from your monthly subscription.
Also, you can check and see if your local library has access to Amazon Original series and films on DVD.
How To Skip Amazon Prime Video Altogether
If you’re down to simply avoid Amazon Prime Video altogether, there is, of course, a limitless amount of streaming content available to you. Nobody can watch everything anyway.
And don’t sleep on platforms like Kanopy and Hoopla — which are often available for free through your public library. There are also a few non-traditional streaming platforms like The Criterion Channel you can try out, too.
Alternatives to Amazon Prime Video:
- The Criterion Channel
- HBO Max
- Apple TV+
- YouTube TV
What about an alternative to Amazon Freevee?
In 2022, Amazon essentially rebranded IMDb TV into Freevee — a free streaming service with a limited catalog. While you don’t need an Amazon Prime Video subscription to watch Freevee, it’s a channel on Amazon Prime Video.
If you’re trying to loosen yourself from Amazon’s grasp, it’s best to avoid Freevee as well.
Unless you’re watching Bosch (Freevee created an original spinoff), there’s very little exclusive or original content on the platform.
You’ll likely have no problem finding great free alternatives through your local library’s streaming services or by signing up for any number of free trials from other streaming services. You’re not missing out on anything, we promise.