Amazon makes Prime Video look more like Netflix (and every other streaming app)

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·Weekend Editor
·2-min read
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Amazon is introducing a new Prime Video interface that will be familiar to anyone who has used Netflix – or, for that matter, any other modern streaming service. To make the Prime Video experience “less busy and overwhelming,” the company has relocated the platform’s main navigation bar to the left side of the screen and arranged the icons into a vertical column. From top to bottom, the six menus are Search, Home, Store, Live TV, Free and My Stuff.

Most of the menus include subcategories to simplify navigation further. For instance, the Home section has subcategories for movies, TV shows and sports. Other Netflix-inspired features include a top 10 list of popular content and poster-style thumbnails that expand to play a preview when you navigate over them.

Prime Video's new
Prime Video's new

However, the most helpful change Amazon has introduced is a new set of icons that make it easier to know if something is part of Prime Video. A blue checkmark means the TV show or movie you want to watch is included with your subscription. By contrast, a gold shopping bag means you need to either buy or rent the content to view it.

According to The Verge, Amazon spent 18 months working on the redesign. Ben Smith, vice-president of product for Prime Video and Prime studios, led the project. Notably, he previously worked on Hulu’s 2017 redesign. That effort saw the service try something radically different only for it to return to a more familiar design a few years later.

As do the new portrait poster-style thumbnails that expand when you navigate over them.
As do the new portrait poster-style thumbnails that expand when you navigate over them.

Amazon will begin rolling out the new Prime Video experience starting this week. The redesign will first arrive on Android and compatible streaming devices — including Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV — before landing on iOS and the web later this year.

The new experience won’t roll out to every device where Prime Video is available, and among the more notable omissions are the third-generation Apple TV and Sony’s PlayStation 3. If either of those are how you watch Prime Video, you won’t lose access to the service as a result — you'll just have to get by without the redesigned interface for the time being.

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