Amazon Prime Video, as long as it was only providing movies and series, could be content with its vanilla screen design. Movies and series were stacked in columns based on language and genre, and you just worked through them to choose the content you wanted. Sometimes the content was hidden – the algorithms were to blame for that – but they gritted their teeth and followed suit.
But Prime Video has also started offering subscriptions to other platforms through Prime Video channels and has also streamed popular movies through early access rentals. But finding your Prime Video channels and the movies on early access rentals couldn’t be attempted without a prayer or two (or worse, some profanity) on your lips.
Their cries of exasperation were mercifully overheard by the design folks at Prime Video, who announced a redesign elsewhere. And today, the platform announced that starting this week, Prime Video India is rolling out a redesign of the Prime Video app on smart TVs and the Android app. Those using the app on iOS and the web will have to wait a little longer to get the redesign.
What are the new updates?
Prime Video did the redesign work with the implicit idea of letting users find content easily. Don’t ask why it hasn’t been the case until now. Here are the design changes that Prime Video showcased:
The navigation menu has been tweaked to facilitate a wide selection – including movies, TV shows and premium channels. In the TV app, the new navigation menu has been relocated to the side of the screen. “The app will launch with five main pages: Home, Store, Find, Live TV and My Stuff. Customers will also have sub-navigation options to more easily navigate by content or offer type, such as ‘Movies’ or ‘TV Shows’ ‘ on the Home page and ‘Channels’ or ‘Rental’ on the Store.”
Speaking of ‘Store’, it’s a one-stop destination for accessing movies for rent, along with a wide selection of channels available as add-on subscriptions. That is, your Prime Video Channels subscription and the list of movies available on rental with early access would not be hidden anywhere, but would be available in ‘Shop’. This, it must be said, is indeed convenient and easy for users.
The new Prime Video app has new carousels that present videos with more compelling cinematic images. There are also some elements that Prime Video appears to have borrowed, says Netflix. It also now has a ‘top 10 chart’ that showcases popular and trending content on the platform.
The platform said its “new design features make it easier for customers to say what content is included in their Prime subscription versus what is available for purchase, whether for rent or through a complimentary subscription.”
It came up with visual cues to clearly indicate this. Those that are included in the subscription receive a blue checkmark icon and those that are available for rent or subscription are marked with a gold shopping bag icon. Also in ‘Search’, new visual cues would be shown to clearly indicate which videos are included for customers (marked with a blue checkmark icon) and which are available for rent or subscription (marked with a shopping bag icon Golden).
Prime Video competitors have a task at hand
Near the top of ‘Home’ in the ‘My Subscriptions’ line, users can access all videos included in their Prime membership, as well as any channels they may have subscribed to, with just one click.
On the new “Live TV” page, users also receive a program guide that will show you what is currently on air from the companion channels, as well as know when future programming will start. Customers can immediately view any live station they are subscribed to or simply click to initiate a subscription to a new channel.
‘My Stuff’ will allow customers to keep an easy tab on their downloaded videos, watch lists and also manage their channel subscriptions along with rented movies.
Prime Video did what was expected of it, but the new design didn’t arrive a day early as the confusion so far was spoiling the viewing experience. Now you can face your competitors with more confidence. Others like Disney Plus Hostar, Zee and SonyLIV in India need to match this. Their apps, as they exist now, aren’t that easy to use. The ball is now in their court.