Amazon’s Prime Video App Removes Buying Option On Android

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Amazon’s streaming video service, Prime Video, no longer lets customers buy or rent digital content directly on its Android app – due to an upcoming change in Google’s rules.

Until recently, viewers who wanted to purchase video on demand titles on the Prime Video app, such as films and TV shows, could do so directly on their Android phones or tablets.

But starting May 2 in the UK (and rolling out gradually around the world), users can no longer pay for the content directly inside the app – and will instead have to go to Amazon’s website, buy the content there, and return to the app (or use a workaround – see below).

Prime Video on Android - How to watch Batman

The first to notice the change, in Germany, was tech site CASCHYS BLOG. Amazon later confirmed to us that this is now true for the UK as well (see their full response below).

The reason for this move, most likely, is an upcoming changing of the rules from Google – the company behind Android.

Normally, apps that offer in-app purchases need to pay Google a percentage of every digital purchase done via Google’s payment system on Android.

For a long time, digital stores like Amazon’s Prime Video, Audible and Kindle were able to use an alternative billing system, and thus skip the cut they otherwise had to pay Google.

Amazon Prime Video on tablet
(Photo: Deposit Photos – Grinvalds)

But starting June 1, Android apps that use payment systems other than Google’s will be removed from the official Android Play Store. 

Therefore, Prime Video had three choices – move to Google’s billing system and start paying 10%-30% out of every purchase, remove the app entirely from Google’s Play Store, or remove the option to use in-app purchasing inside the app.

The ability to purchase directly has also been removed from the Audible Android app, and the Kindle store (both also owned by Amazon).

The removal of the direct Prime Video purchasing option is also expected to happen on Android TV and Google TV devices – such as the Humax Aura and the Google Chromecast with Google TV.

Buying Prime Video Content On Android – The Workaround

Amazon’s Prime Video has two types of content: subscription-based content that Prime Video members get at no extra cost, and video-on-demand content that users can either buy or rent.

In addition, the platform includes Prime Video Channels – an add-on that lets you subscribe to full 3rd party channels with their own content library, such as BritBox, Discovery+ and Premier Sports.

At this point, Android users can no longer directly buy, rent – or subscribe to channels, and are instead directed to Amazon’s website (which they will need to go to on their phone – or computer’s – browser).

Prime Video on Android - BritBox subscription how to

There’s another option, though – which is to use the Prime Video app from Amazon’s own  App Store for Android.

Amazon’s alternative app store is a bit of a hassle to install for the first time on your smartphone, as you need to go to your phone’s Security Settings and allow app installations from “Unknown Sources” (Keep in mind that generally speaking, it is ill-advised to install apps from sources other than the Google Play store – so don’t forget to turn this option back off when you’re done).

Then, you need to download the installation APK file from Amazon and install the store. At that point, you will be able to install apps directly from Amazon’s own app store – including the Prime Video app, which will have the ability to directly purchase content still intact.

Prime Video app icon on phone
Photo: Deposit Photos

If this is too much work for you – the easiest option would be to go to Amazon’s website each time you want to purchase content – and then have it wait for you, to watch, on the regular Prime Video Android app.

Amazon’s Response

“Starting May 2, Android mobile and tablet device users can only buy, rent, or subscribe to Prime Video content by visiting the Prime Video website on your mobile or via the Prime Video app on other supported devices, including most smart TVs, games consoles, streaming media players and non-Android mobile or tablet devices.

“Content or subscriptions purchased via the website and/or another supported device will continue to be playable in the Prime Video Android app.”

15 thoughts on “Amazon’s Prime Video App Removes Buying Option On Android”

  1. Hey, as of right now (August 2023), you can rent/buy on Prime Video app on Android. (It may be on Apple too, but I don’t know because I don’t have Apple devices)I accidentally noticed when I was on the app 2 days ago and the movie I was thinking of buying had the price and the Buy Movie button. Nobody is talking about it, not even Amazon, which is odd.Anyways…just wanted to give you the good news.

    • Thanks for the update, though nothing has changed on my Android phone. Maybe you have the Amazon Appstore version of the Prime Video app?

  2. What a pile of Poop ! Time to drop prime video as you can’t buy films through Google anymore just because of the greed of Amazon not wanting to pay Google a decent percentage to use the Google pay !
    Totally disgusted with them.

  3. I’ve always hated Apple for pulling this kind of crap but if they’re both doing it now, maybe I’ll make the switch to a stinking iPhone so I’m not the odd man out when everyone’s air dropping photos of our event.

  4. What a complete and utter bloody stupid corporate move .
    I have a brand new 4k Android TV and a brand new Android OPPO mobile whereupon I cannot rent/ purchase a film through the Amazon Prime Store. Well done, great move, bloody corporate Noobs..

    • Me either. I purchased a movie for my dad on Prime, through fire stick, looked at my profile on his TV. It’s not there, nor is it on my android Prime app on my phone. I wanted to purchase another couple of films. I can’t now.

      • There are a couple of important steps they left out of the above article so here’s the complete process from the start;
        It might seem obvious to some but, before attempting to install the store, etc. the Prime Video app that was already installed on your device via the Play store must first be uninstalled. Restart device. Then go to Settings》Apps》Special Access (by clicking the three vertical dots in the upper right)》Install Unknown Apps》Select your primary browser from the list and then “Allow From This Source”. Now you’ll be able to install the Amazon Store app using your primary browser. However once you’ve installed the Store app, you’ll need to again navigate through those same settings and repeat the “Allow From Unknown Sources” process for the Store app you’ve just installed (and while you’re at it, change the option on your primary browser back to “Not Allowed”).
        Now open the Amazon Store app, enter: “prime video app” into the search window, and select it from the results. Once you’ve installed it, and restarted the device, you’ll be able to rent, purchase, and subscribe directly from the app again, just as before. But there is one more very important thing to remember:

  5. It starts with amazon selling only really shoddy products on the first page of the actual amazon app and now this?
    I think Jeff bezos is getting wayyyy to big for his britches if he thinks people are gonna keep putting up with this.
    By the way, anyone that lives in the UK, you don’t need to use amazon anymore unless it’s something really specific you want to buy. Just use argos, most of the time they have same day delivery and if not there’s usually a shop that stocks what you need relatively close by to pick up same day.
    Amazon is a thing of the past in my opinion. Guess the company spent all the money they should have used on UX on a phallic rocket ship

  6. Amazon not a good idea I will not be renewing my subscription you need to look at the negative impact this will have on your company goodbye Prime Video

  7. It’s now such a hassle to enjoy prime, it’s no longer “enjoying”. I won’t be renewing my contract. How many people think the same I wonder

  8. This was a terrible decision for Amazon all because they didn’t want to pay a little bit of money to Google. They are the richest company and I don’t know about everyone else I tried to use it Saturday and ended up renting the movie I wanted to see on YouTube because it was a lot easier. Wonder how much they are going to lose because of this.


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