Twitch’s Watch Parties function is rolling out to everyone today, giving streamers and their subscribers around the world the ability to watch Amazon’s library of movies and TV shows together. It’s not just for families; as long as everyone has an Amazon Prime account, a streamer can now host a “public” movie viewing with all of their fans.
Watch parties have taken off in general over the last few months as people stuck at home figure out ways to make watching TV shows and movies more social and interactive. Unlike apps like Scener, which allows people to stream Netflix, Disney Plus, and HBO titles with friends in the United States, Twitch’s Watch Parties is specifically built for Amazon Prime Video. Ah, the smell of corporate synergy in the morning. Watch Parties is currently not available on mobile devices, but Twitch is working on it and expects to roll out said feature in the coming months.
The move comes amid recent reports that non-gaming content is out-performing gaming content on Twitch. Twitch first started slowly rolling out Watch Parties to some streamers in October 2019. Amazon also rolled out a Watch Parties feature directly to Amazon Prime Video subscribers in June for people who wanted to have private watch parties with friends and family.
Although the function will soon be available globally, licensing complications brought on by geographical locations will affect what viewers see. For example, shows that are licensed to Amazon Prime Video in the United Kingdom (like Star Trek: Picard) aren’t available in the United States on Amazon Prime Video; Picard lives exclusively on CBS All Access here. If a UK streamer is playing an episode, a viewer in the US won’t be able to watch the episode even if they’re using a Prime account.
It’s unclear just how many streamers and viewers in the United States have used the feature since the beta was rolled out to Twitch Partners in April. Still, Watch Parties is another way for Amazon to continue cross-promoting both of its products — and keeping people inside its ecosystem.