As living costs continue to rise, it’s become more important than ever to ensure that the streaming services we pay for offer the best value for money.
Amazon, for its part, is doing its best to keep hold of Prime Video subscribers who enjoy watching movies and TV shows with others by expanding support for the platform’s popular Watch Party feature to a host of additional streaming devices – including Roku streaming sticks, smart TVs and games consoles.
The feature, which allows up to 100 people with a Prime subscription to view content at the same time, was previously only available on Fire TV devices, desktop web browsers and the Prime Video mobile app. Its expansion was first reported by TechCrunch (opens in new tab).
At present, Watch Party remains exclusive to US subscribers and is only compatible with library content included in a standard Prime Video subscription – viewers can’t host a group session for rented movies, live sports or Freevee (formerly known as IMDbtv) movies and TV shows.
The feature gained popularity during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when friends and families were confined to their homes but still wanted to enjoy entertainment content with one another remotely. Other streaming services, including Disney Plus, Hulu and HBO Max, launched similar features around the same time.
Unlike Prime Video, Netflix doesn’t have an in-app group watch function, and while the desktop version of the latter service is compatible with the Teleparty browser extension, the streamer’s lack of proprietary sharing software represents a missing feather in an otherwise feature-stacked cap.
Of course, Prime Video’s newly-expanded Watch Party feature doesn’t make Amazon’s platform an inherently better streaming service. In truth, it’s unlikely that the ability to remotely enjoy content with others has any significant bearing on consumers’ decisions to keep or cancel their streaming subscriptions.
Nevertheless, Prime Video’s expansion of a feature that its biggest competitor still hasn’t implemented properly can only improve the health of a streamer whose content offering continues to go from strength to strength.
For more on the state of Amazon Prime Video in 2022, check out our rundown of the platform’s upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show and the mystery surrounding its most popular series.