High Tech

Amazon expands Prime Video’s Watch Party feature to Roku, smart TVs, and more

It just got way easier and more convenient to remotely watch Amazon Prime Video’s TV shows and movies together with your friends. The service’s “Watch Party” feature has received a much needed expansion from the limited use cases where it worked before — on Fire TV devices, desktop web browsers, and the Prime Video mobile app — and it now supports non-Amazon streaming devices, smart TVs, and Xbox / PlayStation gaming consoles. TechCrunch first reported on the expansion.

Watch Party allows for up to 100 people with a Prime subscription to view content at the same time. The host is able to play, pause, skip, and fast forward or rewind for the group, and everyone can chat about what they’re watching.

For now, Amazon’s Watch Party feature remains available only in the US. “An error message is displayed if you are using a VPN,” Amazon notes in its FAQ. Everyone shares access to content that’s free to stream with a Prime subscription. But if you want to watch a movie that can only be rented, everyone must do so individually. Watch Party isn’t compatible with live events (like Thursday Night Football), Amazon Prime Video Channels, or Freevee (formerly known as IMDBtv).

While many of these group viewing experiences popped up amid COVID-19 lockdowns, Amazon began testing Watch Party in 2019 via its Twitch service. Hulu offers a similar feature by the same name, Disney Plus offers GroupWatch, and streaming TV apps like Sling TV have also joined in.


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