Amazon Prime Video, as long as it only provided movies and series, could settle for its vanilla screen design. Movies and series were just stacked in columns based on language and genre, and you just worked your way through them to pick the content you wanted. Sometimes content was hidden – algorithms were blamed for this – but gritted your teeth and got you going.
But Prime Video also started offering subscriptions on other platforms through Prime Video Channels and also streaming 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, a few expletives) on your lips.
Your cries of annoyance were, thankfully, heard by Prime Video’s design folks who announced a redesign elsewhere. And today, the platform announced that Prime Video India is rolling out a redesign for Prime Video app on smart TVs and Android app starting this week. 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 has done the redesign work with the implicit idea of letting the users find the content easily. Don’t ask why that hasn’t been the case until now. Here are the design changes Prime Video came up with:
The navigation menu has been modified to make a wide selection – including movies, TV shows and premium channels – easy. On the TV app, the new navigation menu has been moved to the side of the screen. The app will launch with five primary pages: Home, Store, Find, Live TV and My Stuff. Customers will also have sub-navigation options to more easily browse by content or offer type, such as ‘Movies’ or ‘TV Shows” on Home and ‘Channels’ or ‘Rent’ on Store.”
Speaking of ‘Store’, it is the only destination to access movie rentals 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 for early access rentals would not be hidden anywhere, but would be available in ‘Store’. This, it must be said, is indeed convenient and easy for users.
The new Prime Video app has new carousels that showcase videos with more compelling cinematic visuals. There are also some elements that Prime Video appears to have borrowed from, Netflix says. It now also has a ‘Top 10 Map’ that showcases popular and trending content on the platform.
The platform said the “new design features make it easier for customers to see what content is included with their Prime membership versus what is available for purchase, either to rent or through an add-on subscription.”
It has devised visual cues to indicate this clearly. Those that are included in the subscription will have a blue check mark, and those that will be available to rent or subscribe will be marked with a gold shopping bag icon. Also in ‘Search’, the new visual cues would be shown to clearly indicate which videos have been recorded for customers (marked with a blue check mark) and which are available to rent or subscribe to (marked with a gold shopping bag- icon).
Prime Video’s competitors have a task on their hands
At the top of “Home” in the “My Subscriptions” row, users can access all the videos included in their Prime membership, as well as all the channels they have subscribed to, with just one click.
On the new “Live TV” page, users also get a program guide showing what’s currently airing from add-on channels, as well as finding out when future programming will begin. Customers can instantly watch any live station they are subscribed to, or simply click through to start a subscription to a new channel.
With ‘My Stuff’, customers can easily keep track of their downloaded videos and watch lists, as well as manage their channel subscriptions and movie rentals.
Prime Video has done what was expected, but the new design hasn’t come a day too soon as the clutter so far spoils the viewing experience a bit. Now it can take on its competitors with more confidence. Others like Disney Plus Hostar, Zee and SonyLIV in India have to match it. Their apps, as they exist now, are not as user-friendly. The ball is now in their court.