Is Acorn TV Free With Amazon Prime?

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As many people know, you can subscribe to Acorn TV (or BritBox) through Amazon Prime Video. It gives you all the great Acorn TV shows, except instead of viewing them through the Acorn TV app, you watch them through the Amazon app on your TV, phone, or tablet. You can always watch those Acorn TV shows on a laptop or desktop computer by simply going to the Amazon website. 

The part that confuses some people, though, is how you pay for it. If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you probably know that it gives you access to a fairly large library of “free” (free with membership, anyway) TV and film content. In fact, we maintain a list of British TV shows on Amazon Prime here. This, plus the fact that Acorn TV is available on Amazon Prime, leads many to wonder if Acorn TV is included for that price.

Is Acorn TV Free With Amazon Prime?

So, IS Acorn TV free with Amazon Prime? The simple answer is this – NO. A large number of companies make their subscription content available on Amazon, but they're separate companies from Amazon and they charge their own subscription fees. Amazon offers them a marketing channel (their site), distribution, and payment collection, and in return, the two share in the monthly subscription fees. 

It's also important to mention that if you want to subscribe to Acorn TV (or BritBox) through Amazon, an Amazon Prime or Prime Video account is a prerequisite. If you already have a Prime/Prime Video account, that's no big deal. If you don't already have one, you'll  have to think about whether the additional benefits of Prime are worthwhile for the convenience of subscribing through Amazon.

What's the Difference Between Amazon Prime & Prime Video Membership?

An Amazon Video membership is cheaper, and it only gives you access to Prime Videos (along with any subscriptions or purchase you make separately on Amazon).

An Amazon Prime membership is more expensive, but it gives you video benefits plus a number of other things like free shipping, music, Whole Foods discounts, and cloud photo storage, along with a number of other things that will vary somewhat by market. Most people are in it for the free shipping, of course. 

Why Would You Want to Get Acorn TV on Amazon?

This is the big question we hear over and over again. If I can buy Acorn TV directly from Acorn, why would I want to get it through Amazon? While I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for all users, there are several cases where it can be beneficial:

  • If your internet service provider is slow, you may find the streaming to be smoother with Amazon. This isn't a guarantee, but I've personally tested both options in a variety of geographic locations, and I did see better performance from Amazon. I'm not sure if this is because Amazon adjusts streaming quality on the fly to deliver the best quality your connection speed can handle, but it was definitely smoother in my experience. With my ultra-fast urban ISP, however, I saw no difference at all. 
  • If you have a Samsung Smart TV, Amazon makes it easy to watch Acorn TV. A while back, Acorn TV stopped supporting their Samsung Smart TV app. If this affected you, there are a couple ways to deal with it. You can get a Roku or similar device, or you can switch over to Acorn TV on Amazon. The Amazon app works just fine, and Acorn would then be watched through Amazon.
  • If you like the convenience of managing all your subscriptions quickly and easily through Amazon, you can. Many users like to switch back and forth between streaming services every few months, and Amazon has a single page where you can manage all your subscriptions through them. You can subscribe and unsubscribe with a click or two, and there's no need to talk with a human. It also shows you when things expire, so it's easier to track them. We created a quick tutorial on managing Amazon channel subscriptions HERE.
  • If you like having just one watchlist, Amazon is the better option. If you use Prime Video and subscribe to BritBox and Acorn on Amazon, you can put all the shows you want to see on a single watchlist, rather than opening up all the apps separately to find something to watch. 
  • If you like using your Amazon credit card to get cash back, or using Amazon gift cards to pay for your subscription, use Amazon. Acorn does over an annual subscription that allows you to save a bit, but that only applies if you want to buy a full year at once. 

Are there any drawbacks to getting Acorn TV through Amazon? Yes. Occasionally, shows take a little longer to show up on Amazon. It's usually no more than a few hours, but in a couple cases, it has taken a bit longer. If you're the kind of person who gets upset at not being able to watch the very instant a show becomes available, Amazon may be frustrating for you. I've also seen shows linger a bit longer on Acorn at Amazon after they've been removed from Acorn direct.

In Conclusion…

In conclusion, Acorn TV is not free with Amazon Prime, but depending on your situation, you may find it worthwhile to subscribe through Amazon. If you're not sure, remember that both options offer a free trial period, so you can always test them out to see which works better for you.

28 Comments

    • Hi Barbara,
      For BritBox on Amazon: When logged into your Amazon Account on a computer, click “My Account” and then you should see a section/box near the bottom that says “Memberships and Subscriptions.” From there, it should be in “Prime Video Channels.”
      This link may help, also: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201975160
      For Acorn directly: On a computer, when logged into Acorn, in the top right corner, click on “My Acorn TV” and a drop down menu should appear. “Manage Account” will be in this menu and you should be able to see payment details there. 🙂
      Cheers,
      Liberty

  1. One item you didn’t mention in doing a BritBox or Acorn subscription through Amazon: You can’t use the annual subscription and get the discount. You have to pay monthly.

  2. I like to watch Vera and did watch the first 2 seasons on Amazon Prime but to watch the rest if the seasons I have to watch on BritBox which is fine but cannot figure out how to turn on the closed captions option. I really have a hard understanding the words while watching Vera on BritBox.

  3. Thank for this clear and detailed explanation. I have been searching all over and couldn’t find a clear answer to this simple question!

    Note as well, though, that (as of early 2019) Acorn is $1/month, or $10/year (for the full year) cheaper if you subscribe through Amazon Prime rather than Acorn’s own website. So there’s another benefit.

  4. What is my process to try Acorn TV on Amazon.ca … if I wish to opt out after a week‘s trial is it a hassle?

    • Hi Kate! First off, I want to clarify that we are NOT Acorn TV or BritBox. We are a website that writes about British television and streaming services. We cannot provide support for those companies because nobody here works for them.

      I’m not aware of any special AARP deals, so you would likely need to contact them or Acorn TV directly to find out more about that. I do know that they recently raised the annual price to $59.99, so you may have viewed an old or outdated advertisement.

  5. If I subscribe to Acorn TV, either by itself or through Amazon, do I have to pay for each episode I watch of Vera etc, or does my subscription cover watching anything that’s available without additional cost? Ditto BritBox.

    • If you pay for Acorn TV through prime, you’ll get all the content that’s available through Acorn – but you’ll still have to pay for shows that aren’t included in that subscription. For example, Vera has been largely moved over to BritBox at this point, so an Acorn subscription would still require you to pay for most Vera episodes. With a BritBox subscription, you’d get those episodes free.

      Regardless of whether you get either subscription or both subscriptions, there are plenty of British shows on Amazon that would require purchase because they’re just not part of those subscriptions. There are also some British TV shows that are free through your Prime membership, but which aren’t part of BritBox or Acorn TV.

      To find out what’s available on BritBox and Acorn TV, you can visit their websites – both have pages to list all their programming so you can see what’s included.

      • Thank you, that was a speedy and helpful response!
        But just to be sure I understand, if I subscribe to either BritBox or AcornTV but NOT to or through Amazon, the shows which are AVAILABLE through each of those two would be FREE TO VIEW through each of them individually, by dint of having a subscription to them through themselves directly?
        Or alternatively, to subscribe to either or both of BritBox/AcornTV THROUGH AMAZON would require that I for a subscription first to Amazon, and then pay additionally for either or both of them also? And would involve viewing either of them in that case via an Amazon viewer?
        And of course before deciding which services to subscribe to, also searching out which shows that I’m interested in are available where.

        • >>>Or alternatively, to subscribe to either or both of BritBox/AcornTV THROUGH AMAZON would require that I for a subscription first to Amazon, and then pay additionally for either or both of them also? And would involve viewing either of them in that case via an Amazon viewer?

          This is correct. You can subscribe directly with BritBox or Acorn TV, or you can subscribe through Amazon – but if you subscribe through Amazon, they do require you to have Prime Video or a standard Prime membership (which gives you access to another set of “free” shows marked with the Prime banner).

          If you do subscribe through Amazon, you have to view either at Amazon.com on your tablet/computer, or through the Amazon video app. For some people, that’s a perk because there are a number of smart TVs that have the Amazon app but no compatible version of the Acorn TV or BritBox apps. Some people also find it streams better when they subscribe through Amazon.

          Acorn TV and BritBox both offer a free trial when you go direct with them, and Amazon also offers a free trial for their Prime Video service (and you can get a SEPARATE Acorn/BritBox trial week through Amazon). If you have the technical setup where either is possible, I’d recommend taking advantage of both sets of trials to see which gives you the best combination of ease of use and streaming quality. Hope that helps! 🙂

          • That DOES help, I hadn’t known you could get separate trials through Acorn & BritBox themselves AND through Amazon!
            But I am somewhat confused about Amazon Prime, and Amazon Prime VIDEO. As far as I can tell (and sorry, but Amazon seems unclear to me about their video services and their overall Prime service), I could join Amazon Prime for ~$13/month, or just Amazon Prime Video for maybe $9/month, but with Prime I could for instance watch episodes of Endeavour for free, but with Prime Video I’d have to BUY (or rent?) each episode? The confusion, for me, is the name PRIME is one thing with its own conditions, which INCLUDES Prime Video, but Prime Video is itself something different with ITS own conditions if you subscribe to it separately. And the information from Amazon is also confusing. And I ask these questions because I don’t buy much from Amazon, so the Prime would be not quite a good fit for me, but the Prime VIDEO would be, if viewing videos was similarly free.

  6. Prime Video gives you access to the same free titles (the ones with the Prime stripe across the corner), but you don’t get access to the free shipping, mp3s, and other non-video benefits of a Prime membership. Here’s our most recently updated list of programs you get with Prime Video (though it varies almost daily, so you may find a few that have since gone off).

    https://www.iheartbritishtv.com/2018-update-british-tv-shows-you-can-watch-for-free-on-amazon-prime-video/

    Acorn and BritBox are still separate fees in addition to the Prime Video fee, of course. So, if you wanted Prime Video and Acorn TV, it would be the $9/month + $6 or whatever Acorn is going for now. You can always alternate between channels easily (they have a “manage channels” page where you can cancel and add them without needing to talk to a human). As long as you have that underlying Prime Video membership, you can subscribe to any of their channels as you please – whether that’s Acorn, BritBox, Sundance Now, Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, etc. Occasionally, you’ll find good British shows on those others, and a lot of people “save” their free trial for those services until there’s something they really want to watch.

    One other thing to mention about Amazon channels: If you subscribe and then unsubscribe a day or two later, it will continue to function until the end of your trial period. It’s good to know if you plan on switching back and forth and you don’t want to have to remember to cancel on the last day of the membership. They shut it off at the end of the period you paid for, not the moment when you cancel.

  7. this is such a mess…basically if i want to watch acorn on my samsung or lg smart tv…..i cant becuase there are no apps fr samsung or lg to watch it on ….so im stuck buying a stick such as roku or fire which i dont feel i should have to…why are there no apps for acorn tv on lg or samsung….ughhhh…my only alternative is to purchase amazon prime and purchase acorn on top of that,,,,,ughhh,,,,cheaper to just buy a stick for each tv…i guess and forget about amazon prime….

  8. In canada….you have to purchase a prime membership to get prime video…there is no seperate prime video option as far as i know…

    • Correct – it’s the same in the US. I’m not sure how good Prime Video is in Canada, but I know it has 360+ British shows on its own here in the US, so a lot of people like to subscribe to it anyway. I understand Canada doesn’t always get the same programs, though, so it may not be as great a deal there.

    • Hi Saundra – Please note, we are not Acorn TV. You can’t cancel a service with one company by leaving an article comment on an entirely different company’s website. You’ll need to contact Acorn TV directly to cancel your subscription.

  9. My wife and I enjoy Acorn TV and love having it available with Amazon Prime TV. That is…until now. At least with Midsomer Murders they are showing commercials (4 and 5 times with a block of 3-4) and this is annoying. Especially since we pay for Prime AND Acorn. Unless we can find a way to avoid this we will have to unsubscribe from the channel and subscribe to Acorn direct.

    • I was horribly disappointed this morning to see commercials on Midsomer Murders on Acorn through Amazon Prime. Hoping it is a glitch, because I didn’t have commercials on Netflix (MM apparently went off Netflix October 1.)

  10. Why is Doc Martin not on PBS? That’s where I have watched it all along and I don’t understand why they went with Acorn. All I can see is another thing I have to buy. Very frustrating. Will Amazon at sometime put it on Prime in a year or so? Thanks.

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