Disney is currently testing a new feature that will allow Disney Plus subscribers to create tiny private watch parties.
Screenshots of the feature first appeared on the Disney Plus subreddit yesterday. You can see below that the feature apparently allows up to six people to join the party. Another screenshot shows a new icon that appears on the cover of a movie or TV show that prompts the GroupWatch feature.
The edge confirmed that GroupWatch is currently being tested in Canada for some Disney Plus subscribers, but the company expects the feature to expand to other markets in the fall. This feature allows users to stream movies or TV shows on Disney Plus as long as all attendees are Disney Plus subscribers.
Disney is nowhere near the first to create a private party option for subscribers. Amazon Prime Video launched a tool similar to its subscribers earlier this year, which allows up to 100 people to participate in a viewing session. Amazon’s Watch Party feature allows anyone in the US to stream thousands of titles together, including both licensed series and movies alongside originals. Previously, Amazon had also introduced Twitch Watch Parties, which allow Twitch streamers to host public viewing parties with their subscribers. The only catch is that anyone who watches must be an Amazon Prime member and the title must be available in their respective region.
There are a variety of third party web browser extensions that users can use to connect Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO and other subscriptions to watch movies and TV shows with friends like Scener. Scener was one of many watch party tools that has seen a surge in usage in recent months as people stuck at home leaned into watch parties to stay around friends. With the increase in streaming, it is evident that more and more companies want to give subscribers the option of hosting their own events right in the app.