Amazon continues to spend billions on its streaming library to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. But content isn’t the only battlefield where the so-called streaming wars are being fought. Companies also compete to make their websites and apps easier to use, and Amazon wants to make sure that it doesn’t fall behind. The tech giant recently announced a new overhaul to its Prime Video user interface designed to improve the user experience.
The new interface, which will be rolled out to select devices this week, prioritizes simplification. Various buttons and menu items have been removed to make it easier to navigate, and new carousels are designed to make the experience more “cinematic.” The new interface also devotes more real estate to live television, which will be increasingly important as streaming services continue to bid against each other for live sports and news broadcasts. The upcoming football season will be significant for Amazon, as it begins to expand its live coverage of NFL games.
The new interface illuminates the way that Amazon’s business model mimics its streaming competitors and the significant ways in which it differs. While the company still needs to draw viewers to its original content in the same way that Netflix and Apple TV+ do, Amazon also sells other premium streaming subscriptions via its “channels” program. The redesign makes a point to draw viewers to premium add-ons like Paramount+ and HBO, helping Amazon compete with the likes of Roku in the subscription sales space.
“It’s important for us that customers understand the breadth of choice that they have and understand the benefit of using the Prime Video application for all of their streaming,” said Helena Cerna, an Amazon director of product management, accompanying the rollout. “We really wanted to make the Prime Video experience effortless and delightful and easy to use.”
Cerna indicated that an additional benefit of the redesign is making Prime Video feel more like other streaming services on the market.
“Part of ease of use is familiarity,” she said. “So in instances where, you know, there are established patterns in the wild, we leverage those.”