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Disney+ might be the first global streamer to get this cool new feature

Published Aug 31st, 2020 6:40PM EDT
Disney Plus app
Image: Disney

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  • The Disney+ app might be getting a new feature soon that Netflix doesn’t even have baked into its service yet.
  • Code found within the Disney+ website seems to reveal that a new ‘group watch’ feature is coming to the streamer soon, possibly in time for the launch of Mulan on the service this weekend.
  • Hulu rolled out the same feature, which is available in the US, earlier this year, while a browser extension lets you do the same with Netflix.

Ahead of the release of Disney’s highly-anticipated Mulan remake, which the company will make available as a premium video-on-demand purchase for $29.99 in the Disney+ app, a rumor is circulating that Disney’s Netflix rival might be about to launch a cool new feature that even Netflix doesn’t have yet.

Code has been found on the Disney+ website that suggests the streamer is working on a native ‘group watch’ feature of some kind, which would presumably allow multiple people with Disney+ subscriptions to watch the streamer’s movies and shows collaboratively. This news was first reported by the blog Disney Plus Informer, which notes that code along these lines was added on August 28. And if it does indeed mean that a watch party feature of some kind is coming to Disney’s streamer (that’s still not a year old at this point), this would represent the first global streaming service to offer the feature.

Hulu launched a watch party feature earlier this year, and you can use a browser extension to gain the same functionality in Netflix (it’s just not a feature at this point that’s directly baked into the actual product). The Disney Plus Informer report also suggests that PIN code access may be a component of the new group watch feature, which could be a way for parents to exert the necessary control over what their kids watch across the service.

Head to Disney Plus Informer to learn more, but some additional fascinating insights that are revealed include the following:

The code seems to suggest that this feature will roll out in time for the launch of Mulan on the streaming service this weekend, so it will be interesting to see if that turns out to be the case. Presumably, you’ll only be able to access the feature on laptops or mobile devices, so TVs are out of the question, and you’ll be able to enjoy a ‘group watch’ with up to 7 people (including yourself).

Also, it seems this feature is coming to anyone with a Disney+ account.

It makes sense that Disney might time the launch of a feature like this to coincide with the release of Mulan, the success of which is being closely watched by Hollywood. Studios have so far mostly resisted steering their biggest releases to streaming services, which is a move perceived as hurting theaters that have already struggled for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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