Amazon offers its Prime members the opportunity to watch TV shows and films on Prime Video with friends with its new Watch Party function.
The feature is slow to roll out, and is currently only available in the U.S. Watch parties can accommodate up to 100 spectators in a group, but each person must have a prime subscription in the United States. Once at the Watch Party, according to Amazon, people can choose from thousands of titles, including originals and licensed shows and films.
Everything from the service's US streaming video-on-demand catalog is featured. This includes originals such as Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jack Ryan, The Big Sick, The Boys, Homecoming and My Spy, as well as licensed titles that are available with an Amazon Prime Video subscription. However, movies and TV shows that can be rented or purchased cannot be streamed in Watch Party.
Watch Party hosts oversee full synchronized playback controls and a chat feature to speak to all other guests. While Twitch, Amazon's other streaming service, does a similar job, these streams are open to the public. Anyone can participate in a creator's viewing session as long as they have a Prime account. Prime Video's new watch party feature is completely private. The host shares a link with family and friends so that users can click and join it, similar to Zoom.
Prime Video is the youngest major streamer to attend virtual viewing parties. WarnerMedia, Disney, and Netflix have partnered with Scener so that subscribers to HBO, Disney Plus, and Netflix can see something together. Prime Video Watch parties are currently for desktop only. Amazon has not said whether a mobile version is on the way.
Update June 29, 6:45 p.m. ET: The story has been updated to include additional information about which titles can be streamed.