Remotely watching TV series and movies on Amazon Prime Video with your pals just got a lot simpler and more convenient. The “Watch Party” component of the service now includes non-Amazon streaming devices, smart TVs, and Xbox/PlayStation gaming consoles, expanding its previously limited use cases of Fire TV devices, desktop web browsers, and the Prime Video mobile app. The expansion was initially covered by TechCrunch.
Up to 100 subscribers of Prime can watch content concurrently through Watch Party. For the group, the host can play, pause, skip, fast-forward, or rewind while allowing everyone to converse on what they are watching.
The Watch Party feature on Amazon is currently only accessible in the US. According to Amazon’s FAQ, “If you are utilizing a VPN, an error notice is shown.” With a Prime subscription, everyone has access to content that is available for free streaming. However, each person must see a movie on their own if it is only available for rental. Live events (such as Thursday Night Football), Amazon Prime Video Channels, and Freevee are incompatible with Watch Party (formerly known as IMDBtv).
While many of these group viewing events emerged during COVID-19 lockdowns, Amazon started experimenting with Watch Party via its Twitch service in 2019. A comparable function with the same name is available on Hulu, GroupWatch is available on Disney Plus, and other streaming TV services like Sling TV have also joined in.