Amazon throws its hat into the circle of companies trying to solve one of streaming TV’s biggest problems: Infinite amounts of content can make it really difficult to choose something to watch. His approach uses an IMDb-branded app that’s exclusively available to Fire TV owners, which will let you play a series of games designed to help you choose a movie.
Amazon’s press release mentions three games in the new app: one will “mix movie and series options” and give you three options. In theory, the limited choice could help reduce analysis paralysis since you could end up with something like three times fewer options than if you opened Netflix. However, Amazon notes that there’s a “deal cards” button to get new picks, so it’s always possible people will end up hitting it again and again.
The app also features a fun challenge option where you watch and rate movies on curated IMDb listings to collect digital stamps. However, perhaps the most interesting game is called “This or That”. Amazon says it asks users a series of questions, such as what kind of movie they’re looking for, to come up with recommendations. It sounds like the kind of thing that really takes the guesswork out of choosing a movie or show, especially since you can still put answers to a vote if you’re trying to find something to watch as a group.
Amazon is also teasing that the app will be updated with more games – one called “Build-a-Cast” and another called “Time Machine”. It doesn’t detail what they are, but I’ve heard of people watching an entire actor’s filmography or marathon movies from a certain decade, so there’s definitely potential in those ideas.
The app is called “IMDb What to Watch” and Fire TV owners can download it by searching for it or asking Alexa to “open the IMDb What to Watch app”. You’ll also be able to tell the app which streaming services you have access to so it won’t recommend something you’re not watching. I wish this feature would be incorporated into the IMDb website so that people with other streaming systems or smart TV systems could watch it, but as the Joe Pesci character says in The Irishman, “It is what it is.” (Did I just watch that quote on IMDb? Maybe.)