Why Can’t I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime? 4 Reasons

Amazon Prime video logo in a mobile

Have you ever tried to rent a movie on Amazon Prime but got confused when you couldn’t find the option? As an Amazon Prime member myself, I get it. The Amazon Prime video setup can be pretty confusing for folks who are used to services like iTunes or Google Play that let you easily rent or buy movies.

Why Can’t I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime? Don’t fret! This guide explains why & offers solutions to get your movie night back on track.

Why Can’t I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime? Short Answer

Why Can't I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime
Why Can’t I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video, part of the Amazon Prime membership, provides unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, and exclusive Amazon Originals. However, it differs from other streaming platforms by not offering the latest movie rentals or purchases, aiming to maintain the affordability of Prime membership. To access new movie releases, members might need to use additional services like iTunes, Google Play, or Vudu, or subscribe to Hulu. Despite this, the benefits of Prime, such as free shipping, make it a valuable choice for many.

What Exactly is Amazon Prime Video?

Amazon Prime Video is a streaming service that is included with an Amazon Prime membership. An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year and includes other benefits like free two-day shipping on Amazon orders and access to free books from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

With an Amazon Prime membership, you get unlimited access to stream movies, TV shows, and Amazon Originals on Prime Video. So it’s kind of like Netflix but tied to the Amazon Prime membership program.

However, Prime Video is a little different from other streaming rental services. Rather than allowing you to specifically rent or purchase movies like you might be used to, Prime Video just allows unlimited streaming of certain movies and shows that are included with Prime.

Why Can’t I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime? Reasons

Why Can’t I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime? There are several reasons why a movie might not be available for rental on Amazon Prime. Here are some of the most common:

  • The movie isn’t available for rental: Not all movies on Prime are available to rent. Some are only available for purchase or included with your Prime membership.
  • Regional restrictions: Certain movies might have licensing agreements that restrict them from being rented in your specific region.
  • Technical issues: Sometimes, temporary technical issues on Amazon’s end can prevent you from accessing rental options.
  • Device limitations: If you’re using an Android device, you can’t rent movies directly through the Prime Video app. You’ll need to use the Amazon website or another supported device (e.g., smart TV, gaming console).

What About Movies I Can’t Stream with My Prime Membership?

Why Can't I Rent a Movie on Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime Membership

You may occasionally come across movie or TV show listings on Prime Video that show a price or say “Rent for $3.99” or “Buy for $12.99” next to them.

These are movies that are NOT included with your Prime membership. If you click on them, you’ll be given the option to pay a rental fee to stream it once or purchase the video outright.

The purchase price is comparable to what you would pay on iTunes, Google Play, or other rental services. But paying individually like this can end up being more expensive than having a Netflix or Hulu subscription if you consume a lot of content.

Read also: Is Philo free with Amazon Prime

Pairing Amazon Prime with Other Services

If having access to the newest movie and TV show releases is important to you, I recommend pairing Amazon Prime with another service like:

  • iTunes – Enables movie/TV show purchase & rental options
  • Google Play – Also offers rentals/purchases for movies and shows
  • Hulu –Subscription with broader content, some rental/purchase options

Many smart TVs, streaming devices like Roku, and game consoles also have these apps available. Or you can access it from a mobile device or computer.

Paying for an additional streaming media subscription or rental service ensures you can watch the latest releases not covered by Prime. But keeping Amazon Prime still provides other membership benefits like free shipping!

In Summary…

While Amazon Prime Video offers unlimited streaming of included titles to Prime members, the ability to specifically rent new-release movies and TV shows is not an option.

This can be confusing if you’re used to how iTunes, Google Play, or cable providers let you rent and buy on-demand! However, the economics of Amazon Prime membership make it focused on offering a range of included content instead of the latest releases.

So to ensure access to the newest movie and TV show rentals, it’s best to pair Prime with another rental service! There are quite a few options to choose from to get what you need.

I hope this helps explain why Amazon Prime Video works differently from other familiar movie rental options. Let me know if you have any other questions!