The Basics —

User profiles, along with parental controls, launch today.


Screenshot of Amazon.com user interface.

Enlarge / Amazon Prime Video on an iPad Pro.

At long last, Amazon Prime Video is catching up to competitors like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ with a key feature: user profiles. The feature is rolling out in the mobile and set-top box versions of the Prime Video app starting today.

The feature allows multiple people sharing an Amazon Prime subscription to maintain separate watch histories and watch lists. Additionally, Amazon has made a distinction between user profiles for kids and profiles for adults, with different rules. Users can configure up to six profiles in any mix of children’s and adults’ profiles. All this is rolling out starting today, but it won’t reach all users right away.

According to TechCrunch, multiple user profiles were supported in India and Africa previously, and they are only now making their way to the rest of the world, including the United States. The rollout brings Amazon closer to feature parity with Netflix and other big streaming players. The bulk of major apps in this space offered this feature, but there are some outliers—like CBS All Access.

Some of those other streaming services offer robust parental controls, so Amazon is leaning into that with these changes as well. Individual profiles can be flagged as a kids’ profile. That profile will only see recommendations or search results of TV shows and films that are age-appropriate (12 and under), and kids won’t be able to make purchases. Amazon is including a number of other options for filtering content like this, including the ability to restrict content on a per-device basis.

Amazon is making these changes amidst rising competition. Disney+ has seen massive growth in recent months, and Netflix seems to be faring well, too. Big new entrants to the market with massive libraries of exclusive content, like HBO Max and Peacock, are also hitting the scene, which puts pressure on Prime Video to offer competitive features and content.

In terms of content, Amazon is working on a Lord of the Rings TV series, and it just released a new season of Hanna. The industry giant is also developing a TV series based on the video game franchise Fallout from some of the writers behind HBO’s Westworld.

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