Twitch users have long shared their gaming skills with the world on the live-streaming platform. Now they can share Amazon Prime Video‘s illustrious movie and TV library to the rest of the world, thanks to a new Twitch watch party function that allows a streamer to host a “public” movie viewing for all of their fans.
The cononavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made it hard to engage in the kind of communal activities that we all enjoyed — watching movies together, concerts, playing video games together. Well, the latter has long been moving toward being a socially distant practice anyways, with the rise of online gaming and live-streaming. Twitch has been at the forefront of that phenomenon, allowing users to live-stream their games and interact with fans. It was only a matter of time before Twitch made the leap over to other socially distanced activities, including the new favorite pandemic activity: online watch parties. Hulu and Disney+ have all been testing out this feature with their platforms, while an unofficial Netflix watch party extension has become widely popular, but Twitch is taking it one step further by allowing its users to host a “public” movie viewing of Amazon’s library of movies and TV shows. As long as everyone has an Amazon Prime account.
It may seem a little redundant for Twitch, which is operated by Amazon, to build a watch party feature specifically for Amazon Prime Video when Amazon Prime has been building its own feature, but Twitch reaches a prime demographic: the teens. That makes it one step easier to host a watch party for Amazon titles and give more exposure to Amazon originals like The Boys and The Man in the High Castle, and it allows Amazon to reach out to more of the ever-powerful Gen Zers.
The Verge reports that the function will soon be available globally, but licensing complications from different geographical locations will affect what viewers will be able to see. (For example: Star Trek: Picard is licensed in U.K. Amazon but not in the U.S., so if a U.K. streamer is playing an episode, a viewer in the States won’t be able to see it.)
The new feature rollout comes amid recent reports that non-gaming content is starting to surpass gaming content on Twitch. In response, Twitch began rolling out Watch Parties to some streamers in October 2019. The beta version of the feature was first rolled out on Twitch Partners in April, but there are no official stats on how many streamers in the U.S. have used it since then.
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