Amazon Prime Video is a success story in various ways. As a rival to the top TV streaming service Netflix, along with a benefit of an Amazon Prime membership — chucked in with one-day delivery, Amazon Music Unlimited, and more — than the on-demand TV service has obtained a firm hold of our eyeballs in the past several years.
With exceptional Amazon Originals like The Boys or The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, along with high-profile names such as The Farewell or The Handmaiden, it is not hard to see why viewers have been drawn to the service — especially when a subscription will incorporate all kinds of exclusive retail offers and faster delivery advantages alongside it. But there is still a lot that has to be improved in users are forced to browse the platform.
The main problem with Amazon Prime Video is that it had been designed as an offshoot of the leading Amazon Prime retail site, as opposed to a TV platform in its own right.
That is led to a host of user experience issues, including the way that TV seasons have been listed separately in Amazon search results, rather than being under one banner — a continuation of the times when Amazon was sending DVDs rather than streaming strike series.
Titles are still treated as one-off buys, instead of entertainment experiences that viewers expect some amount of fluidity too. To find names in the browser program, you need to go to the search bar and choose’ Prime Video’ in-between premium Beauty’ and’Shoes and Bags’.
As a result, searching for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or any Amazon TV show) is a confusing encounter, and the platform can’t even manage to record seasons in consecutive order. Search results are kicked off by’Sponsored’ items from the retail section of the site, meaning that if you’re explicitly searching through Prime Video, you’re presented with additional purchase options.
Our Entertainment Editor, Samuel Roberts, moments this layout mentality: “They believe you see Prime Video as a perk of being a Prime member, instead of as a standalone service.”
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Several members of the TechRadar staff have vouched for issues with Amazon Prime Video program restarting TV shows where they left off, too. I’ve had sitcoms’restart’ in the wrong event, the incorrect season, and even in the incorrect portion of a new episode (skipping the pre-credits scenes in Parks and Recreation, by way of instance ).
All these are small, irregular issues, and readily fixed by searching for your relevant episode manually. There are also a lot of things Amazon Prime Video is doing, as with its unique X-Ray feature, which destroys IMDb’s production database to tell you which celebrities are onscreen at any one time, inform you of their soundtrack playing, and tell you overall tidbits about the series.
One aspect that’s plagued the support since its beginning has been the muddy split between the movie content included or not included at a Prime membership. There are many titles available to rent or buy, and it is relatively simple to become flicking through articles rows on the site and settle on a claim only to find you are going to have to pay a surcharge.
This was mostly improved by the inclusion of a free to me’ tab list titles free to view using a Prime membership — as distinct from the’Store’ in which rent/buy names are still recorded.
But, Amazon has a significant financial incentive to draw users towards extra purchases, and it is telling that the site still mixes these titles liberally, along with films and shows that need add-on Amazon Channels subscriptions like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, or MUBI. Showing all available articles, and then throwing the paywall always feels misleading once you’ve decided on a title.
Sana Rao, the former Head of User Experience at Deliveroo, tells us that Amazon Prime Video is”optimized only for conversion, rather than user experience.”
“The e-commerce mindset is quite different in the streaming mentality,” says Rao. “The site is quite much designed from an e-commerce mentality: you go to the website, you know what you would like, you search for it, you get it.”
If you don’t have a personal preference for you buy, though, the shortage of curation is a stumbling block that makes navigating and picking what to watch far too tricky:”Everything’s delivered to you as if you are in a Walmart aisle, looking at 200 different kinds of detergents, and none of them is exhibited as any better for you.”
For a Prime contributor or somebody enticed by Amazon exclusive films and shows, there’s plenty of reason to make use of it. But the Amazon Prime Video UI does not place the user experience (and, by extension, the users) first.