Move over, Netflix: Amazon Prime Video is rolling out its own social viewing experience in the US. Watch Party lets Prime members host and participate in a virtual movie night—at no additional cost.
Invite up to 100 of your closest family and friends—all of whom must have a Prime membership or Prime Video subscription and be based in the US—to catch up on episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or Upload (pictured), or settle in for films like Late Night and The Big Sick.
Choose from thousands of streaming titles, including The Boys, Captain America: The First Avenger, Knives Out, Hanna, I Am Not Your Negro, Rocketman, and other free-with-Prime content. (Note: Films and TV shows available for rent or purchase are not compatible.) Click the Watch Party icon to share the link with friends, then sit back, relax, and don’t worry about anyone stealing your popcorn. The host can play, pause, skip, and seek for the group, and everyone is encouraged to chat along, using built-in stickers for added effect.
Watch Parties are available only on desktop browsers (except Safari); other devices like Fire TV, smart TVs, game consoles, connected media players, mobile phones, and tablets are not currently supported. There is no word on whether the feature will eventually support other gadgets or expand to more countries.
Streaming rival Netflix capitalized on the quarantine trend early, in May introducing Google Chrome extension Netflix Party: a Google Chrome extension that easily syncs video between devices and lets far-flung users communicate while enjoying the same film or TV show. Unlike Netflix, however, Amazon Prime does not require any plug-ins or downloads—just an $8.99-per-month video-only account, or $12.99-per-month or $119 annual full membership.