Amazon Prime subscribers can be part of 100-viewer “Watch Party” groups and enjoy access to thousands of movies and films as well as chat between group members.
The Watch Party feature, which is similar to that of Netflix, allows an Amazon Prime member to simultaneously stream and share their favourite movie or TV show with up to 100 friends and family members who are also Prime members. The synchronised playback controls mean that the Prime Member can use live ‘live chat’ via text with the group and pause, play, and skip the action for the group.
Watch Party does not require a plug-in to download and can be used for anything included with Prime.
Netflix and Others
Amazon Watch Party is clearly a similar (and competing) offering to Netflix’s service. Netflix Party also offers synchronised video playback and adds group chat to Netflix shows so that Netflix members can link up with friends and host long distance movie nights and TV watch parties.
Other streamers offering virtual viewing parties include Warner Media, Disney, and Disney Plus.
Desktop and U.S. Only
Amazon’s Watch Party is currently only available to those located in the U.S. and with a U.S.-based Prime subscription. People can join in a web browser on their computer, and Watch Party is only for desktop browsers except Apple’s Safari, although a mobile version is reported to be on the way. Devices such as Fire TV, smart TVs, game consoles, connected media players, mobile phones, and tablets are currently not supported for Watch party.
How To Use
To launch a Watch Party, a user clicks on the Watch Party icon on their screen, browses titles and episode lists to choose what to watch, chooses a name to use while chatting and then shares their Watch Party link with up to 100 people (friends join by clicking on their link).
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
The pandemic has been good news for those companies offering streamed online entertainment services as millions of people have been spending a lot more time on those platforms and seeking entertainment while off work and having their movement outside restricted.
The fact that families and friends have been separated from each other and that people have been unable to have shared, public entertainment experiences e.g. cinema and concerts, has created more of an opportunity for shared online entertainment experiences such as Watch Parties.
For Amazon, Watch Party is a way that it can compete with other big streamers such as Netflix, and Amazon is in a good position to do so with the vast amount of entertainment titles that it offers.