Don’t know what movie to stream tonight? Try this

The Amazon IMDB What to Watch app for Fire TV devices
(Image credit: Amazon / IMDB)

We’re spoilt for choice in the streaming world these days. Not only do we have libraries of content from several apps to pick from, taking in Hollywood classics and fresh-from-the-cinema new releases, but the competition is so hot that the likes of Amazon, HBO, and Disney are constantly vying for our attention with hot new exclusives all of their own.

Even with a well curated watchlist, deciding what to watch over multiple services can be a tricky time sink, as you trawl through all your streaming subscriptions to find exactly what you’re after for the night’s viewing session.

A new app thinks it has the answer in the form of a game that, for the time being at least, is exclusive to the Fire TV platform. Tapping into the Amazon-owned IMDB film-and-TV-trivia database, it gamifies your choices to help you land on the exact movies or TV shows for the mood you’re feeling.

How it works – and what’s in it for IMDB

The “IMDB What to Watch” app first asks which streaming services you have access to, before presenting you with a few games to narrow your choices. 

The first is simple enough – it scans your services, collates their libraries, and then throws up three options to pick from (or shuffle past) without having to dive into each individual service to see what’s on them.

The next is a bit more refined. “This or That” will ask you a series of questions, such as choices between genres, to help refine your options down to cherry-picked choices.

Finally, the app introduces you to curated collections of related films (such as the pictured “Movies Made in Paris”) and challenges you to watch and rate all of them within a given time frame, awarding badges to those that take part.

IMDB promises a few more games in the app are on their way too – one that pulls together movies based on a dream cast of your choosing, and a “Time Machine” game that, presumably, presents options based on some sort of historical metric, be that era or perhaps an actor’s repertoire across the ages.

Amazon itself makes good use of its IMDB knowledge base already with Amazon Prime streaming, which has an “X-Ray” feature to show you information about a show or movie as you’re watching it, right down to details of the precise stars as they appear on screen in a given scene. 

And though the new, free IMDB game app holistically supports the libraries of multiple rival streamers, you would expect parent company Amazon will be getting some valuable insights out of it also. What do users pick most regularly when presented with choices across multiple services? Which stars prove most popular? Which genres? Which movie artwork is the most likely to generate a click? 

You may not have to pay for the app, but its creators will be making sure there’s still some value in your using it. And with the more data it can access the better, we'd be surprised if the app didn't break free of Fire TV exclusivity before long.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.