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Amazon will make Prime Video look more like Netflix

The tech company will also update the streaming service's search function.

The tech company will also update the streaming service's search function.

A refreshed version of the Amazon Prime Video app. (Prime Video image courtesy Amazon, Graphic by The Desk)

Several days after its most-successful retail event of all time, technology giant Amazon says it is rolling out a redesign of its Prime Video service for its streaming TV customers.

The new interface bears a striking resemblance to Netflix, Amazon’s closest competitor in the streaming TV space, in that it offers a large hero graphic with summary that occupies nearly half of the TV screen followed by a ribbon of recommended TV shows and movies for viewers.

The update will also help customers better identify TV shows and movies that are included as part of the Prime Video service, accessible via a third-party subscription, free to access with ads or cost extra to rent or purchase.

“We certainly wanted customers to understand the breadth of content available to them, with a clear ingress and being able to know which titles cost extra,” Helena Cerna, an Amazon executive in charge of global production management, told the entertainment publication Variety on Monday.

In addition to a refreshed on-demand page, Amazon is also rolling out an update to its linear guide, which collates third-party, ad-supported streaming channels, including Game Show Central, Newsy and Nosey. These channels are available on other streaming services as well, including Pluto TV and Comcast’s Xumo.

The new interface is expected to roll out on streaming TV devices powered by Amazon’s own Fire TV as well as Roku, Apple tvOS and Android TV (Google TV) boxes and streamers in the coming days. A global rollout is expected throughout the summer, after which Amazon will focus on updating its interface for Apple phones and tablets as well as its own website.

Users with the new interface will be able to find specific TV shows and movies by title and filter results to eliminate content that doesn’t stream in ultra-high definition (UHD/4K) among other criteria. Unlike Netflix, which charges a premium to access UHD streams ($20 a month, compared to their base plan of $15.50 a month), Amazon Prime Video customers are able to stream video in the highest quality possible as part of their Prime subscription. An Amazon Prime subscription costs $15 a month or $150 a year, plus tax where applicable.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).