Prime Video Interface Gets Long-Awaited Redesign, Emphasizing Amazon’s Sports And Free Titles And Adding Top 10 Rankings

·3 min read

Amazon is starting to roll out a long-awaited redesign of its Prime Video interface this week, with the new look shifting away from the previous maze of small tiles and toward what the company calls a “super carousel” intended to be more “cinematic.”

The new design emphasizes Prime originals, with trailers embedded in the expanded screen real estate, as well as sports and free titles. Amazon’s Freevee has been widening its scope as its own stand-alone app, but many Freevee titles will surface algorithmically for viewers or in searches.

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For years, while Prime continued to grow into perhaps the most successful customer loyalty or subscription program ever attempted, its video component got mixed reviews from many subscribers in terms of its on-screen look and feel. In a blog post, the company conceded that its goal was to make the experience of watching Prime Video “less busy and overwhelming.”

Another major addition is a top 10 ranking. Netflix integrated an on-screen top 10 in 2020, building on that to deliver self-reported numbers and weekly top 10 rankings in 90 countries. It remains to be seen what kinds of disclosures lie ahead for the famously secretive Amazon, but the rankings are a major new feature.

The revamp is starting on the Prime Video app on connected living room devices, including Fire TV, as well as on the Android app. It will be available on these devices to all Prime Video customers worldwide this summer, with iOS and web to follow.

“We are redesigning the Prime Video experience to highlight our broad selection of content and to make it easier for customers to find the content they love,” the blog post said.

A main navigation menu along the left side of the screen (on living-room apps) is another major innovation. The app will launch 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 or offering type.

Sports is a major influence in the new design, not a surprise given the strategic push into the arena by the company in recent years. In September, Amazon will start an 11-year exclusive rights deal for NFL Thursday Night Football, and a host of deals for soccer, baseball, tennis and other sports have followed in multiple global regions.

While the live programming guide will show when sporting events and other attractions are set to begin, the company does not plan to offer push alerts notifying users about game starts, as Apple TV, YouTube TV and other streaming players have done.

Identifying titles already accessible to viewers at no extra charge is another key priority. Historically, a “free for Prime subscribers” row of tiles has existed within the Prime interface, but it was easy to scroll past compared with the updated version. Titles available on streaming services outside of Prime Video to which a user already subscribes are also indicated with enhanced visual markings.

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