I’ve been a user/renter with LoveFilm for many years using their DVDs by post service. Over the last few years the streaming side of DVD rental has grown and grown and now there are lots of different offerings for watching DVD online. Lovefilm is still the only one doing rentals by post and as much as I try and use iTunes and Lovefilm instant we do still watch DVDs that come in the post.
Sometime last year Amazon bought Lovefilm. Nothing changed. The service still worked, they added more films to the streaming service (I could now watch The walking Dead!), the website was easy to use but not perfect (it was a little tricky to browse and find films) but generally all was good. Then, a few months ago Amazon announced that they would be changing Lovefilm to Amazon prime video. Not the snappiest of titles for a company, I preferred Lovefilm, but kind of an expected move by Amazon. Then one day I went on to the lovefilm website to choose some DVD rentals and I got a huge shock! The old lovefilm website had disappeared completely and was now Amazon prime video which looked just like Amazon’s retail website. In fact it was Amazon’s retail website just with extra bits of navigation for adding titles to your rental list. Trying to find DVDs to rent in amongst all the other crap on the Amazon website was impossible. When I’m buying products on Amazon I don’t really mind being shown other things I might want or suggestions in the search for similar products but when all I want to do is quickly find some new films to rent I really, really do not want to have to wade through a million other navigation links, be pestered with products to buy or be shown so many search options that I’m not sure whether I’m looking at a DVD to rent or one to buy.
I think Amazon have made a huge mistake combining the DVD rental service into the rest of the already huge Amazon website. What was once a focused, simple and quick process is now a confusing mess that’s hard to navigate. When I’m picking a film I want to focus on that task.
Amazon need a dedicated website for loveFilm, sorry Amazon Prime Video (nope, still doesn’t sound like a great name!), like Netflix and other similar services otherwise they WILL be losing a lot of customers. Like me. As a website designer I would never advise a client to do what Amazon have done, its a bad idea on so many levels but it shows that Amazon are just interested in one thing…trying to sell you more stuff!