- Amazon announced a brand new Watch Party feature for Prime Video this week that will allow up to 100 participants to stream a show or movie together.
- Prime Video Watch Party is only available for US Prime members and Prime Video subscribers for the time being, and you need to be on a desktop browser to use it.
- Watch Party supports thousands of streaming titles, including Fleabag and Knives Out.
Back in March, when the novel coronavirus outbreak had officially morphed into a full-blown pandemic, the scientific community expressed hope that we could flatten the curve by the time summer rolled around and be better prepared for a potential second wave in the fall. That turned out to be wishful thinking, as the first wave never ended, and now the US is recording more new COVID-19 cases on a daily basis than in late April. We are not getting back to normal any time soon, which is why now is the perfect time for Amazon’s Prime Video Watch Party.
The concept of a virtual watch party is relatively new, but has been picking up steam in recent months while we’ve all been stuck indoors, unable to see our family and friends in person. There are several third-party apps and extensions that make it possible to watch shows and movies together, like Scener, but Prime Video is one of the first subscription services to build the functionality directly into its platform, and you can try it out right now.
This week, Amazon is beginning to roll out the Watch Party feature on Prime Video for US subscribers at no additional cost. Watch Party sessions can support up to 100 participants, but everyone in the Watch Party needs to be in the US and have either an Amazon Prime membership or a Prime Video subscription. The feature is also limited to desktop for now, which means you can’t join or host a Watch Party from the mobile app.
Providing you qualify for the feature and it has hit your account, you can start a Watch Party with thousands of titles from the Prime Video SVOD catalog, including Amazon Originals such as Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, HANNA, The Boys, The Expanse, and Homecoming, as well as licensed content like Knives Out, Captain America: The First Avenger, Hell’s Kitchen, and SpongeBob SquarePants. The titles have to be available for streaming, though, as Watch Party does not currently support rentals or purchases.
Watch Party hosts will have the ability to control the show or movie with synchronized playback, so that the content will pause or rewind for every participant at the same time. There’s also a chat feature within every Watch Party so that participants can talk amongst themselves, and Amazon has even thrown in some stickers.
Amazon isn’t ready to discuss future plans for this feature, or when it will roll out to other territories around the world, but if you’re a US Prime member, you can head to this page to learn more and try it out.