TheWrap got a preview of the streaming service’s updated user interface, which includes a new navigation menu, viewing recommendations and a sports destination
Amazon Prime Video will begin rolling out a new, redesigned user experience this week aimed at improving on-app subscriber navigation and discovery. The updated interface, coming first to Prime Video on living room and Android devices, will be available to all Prime customers worldwide this summer.
Frustration with Prime Video’s user interface (UI) has been a topic of conversation for years. So why invest 18 months of development to rebrand now? After spending more than a decade amassing content assets for the service, a “need to evolve the customer experience” to match was necessary, Helena Cerna, Prime Video’s core tech director of product management, said during a preview of the new UI attended by TheWrap.
Though Prime Video has made tweaks to its UI over the years, this is the first major overhaul of the experience since the streamer began distributing exclusive content in 2013.
Here’s what Prime subscribers have to look forward to.
A more user-friendly navigation menu
Exploring the breadth of Prime Video’s prodigious library used to be a slog. But its new, simplified main menu is more easily navigable.
For living room apps, the new menu has been relocated to the side of the screen with six primary pages: Home, Store, Find, Live TV, Free With Ads, and My Stuff. Customers will also have sub-navigation options to more easily browse by content and medium (film/TV). Visually, they want titles to pop more.
Where the service previously had rows of content with imagery and box-art all the same size, “we’ve now employed scale to help customers easily identify some of our best content,” Cerna told TheWrap. “On the home page, customers will see Amazon Originals and Exclusives presented using large poster art with in-line trailer playback.”
A “Continue Watching” row will be stationed nice and high for viewers looking to easily jump back into a recent title. More visually evocative graphics that can be expanded to play trailers will be used to highlight titles.
A ready-made sports destination
Amazon boasts a bevy of sports streaming rights, none more notable than the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” lineup. It’s the NFL’s first exclusive broadcast deal with a streaming service and Amazon is paying more than $1 billion per year for the 11-year pact. There’s pressure on both sides to make this partnership work, so sports access on the app needs to be easy and convenient lest all parties face the wrath of millions of angry fans.
The “Sports” tab on the sub-navigation menu provides an easy access landing page for the studio’s growing collection of games and coverage, which includes MLB, NBA, soccer and more. The “Live TV” page also functions as a hub for streaming stations, including live sports and events.
Clearer and more accessible viewing recommendations
We’ve all endured endless scrolling through a vast streaming library, desperately unable to decide on a title. Choosing something to watch shouldn’t be this hard.
To cut down on selection time, Prime Video is introducing a “Top 10 Chart” to showcase trending content as well as a “Super Carousel” to help promote tentpole Amazon Originals. The former will be populated with the top 10 titles being streamed that day — a small new datapoint we can use to track viewer interest, as well — and will vary by region as it rolls out worldwide.
New design features, such as a blue checkmark, will also signify whether content is included within a Prime membership versus what’s available for purchase, marked by a shopping bag icon. A “My Subscriptions” row is similarly aimed at reducing discovery time for any add-ons customers have purchased through Prime Video, such as Paramount+ and Starz subscriptions. Plot synopsis and recommendation language has also been revamped.
“We’ve invested in better content descriptors to give customers a sense of what a title is like,” Cerna told us. “Customers will notice them on the detail page with tags like ‘Inspiring,’ ‘Frightening,’ or ‘Feel-good.’”
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Brandon Katz is an industry strategist at Parrot Analytics, a WrapPRO partner.