Amazon is planning to give Prime Video a big makeover

Could user profiles and better personalization features be coming to Amazon’s  Prime Video app at long last? The company’s new Amazon Studios headJennifer Salke just teased that a major upgrade to Amazon’s streaming video app is in the works – and she already has it running on a phone in her office, she said.

The exec was speaking at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in L.A., according to reports from AdWeek [paywall], TheWrap, and Deadline, when she mentioned the app’s big makeover.

And while Salke’s statements were light on key details – like when such an effort would reach end users, for example, or what changes, exactly, would be in store, there’s plenty of room to speculate on what Prime Video’s app today lacks.

For starters, unlike competitors such as Netflix and Hulu, Prime Video’s app doesn’t focus on making personalized recommendations about what to watch next.

Instead, the interface features a number of content groupings of shows or movies that are “included with Prime.” These are organized by category and type – like “Comedy Movies” or “Recently Added TV,” for example. It also showcases content that’s top rated, popular, or trending, along with some of its own editorial recommendations, like a section for Amazon’s “Original Movies” or its “Exclusive TV.”

A row may be dedicated to suggestions things to watch next based on viewing history, but it’s easily overlooked. Overall, the interface has always felt more focused on pushing Prime content in a variety of ways, rather than helping you discover new things you’ll actually like.

What makes this worse is that Amazon doesn’t offer user profiles, where household members could each have their own watchlist and set of recommendations – features that are standard on rival streaming apps today, including Hulu, Netflix, and even newcomers like YouTube TV.

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