Disney is currently testing a new feature that will allow Disney Plus subscribers to create small private viewing parties.
Screenshots of the feature began appearing for the first time in a Disney Plus edit yesterday. Seen below, the feature ostensibly allows up to six people to join the party. Another screenshot shows a new icon that appears on the title page of a movie or TV show, prompting the GroupWatch feature.
On the edge confirmed that GroupWatch is currently being tested in Canada for some Disney Plus subscribers, but the company expects to release this feature in other markets this fall. The feature allows people to broadcast any movie or TV show on Disney Plus, as long as all participants are Disney Plus subscribers.
Disney is far from the first to create the option of privately watching a party for subscribers. Amazon Prime Video released a similar tool to its subscribers earlier this year, allowing up to 100 people for a single viewing session. Amazon’s feature, called Watch Party, also allows anyone in the United States to submit thousands of titles, including licensed series and movies along with originals. Earlier, Amazon also launched the Twitch Watch Party, which allows Twitch streamers to organize public viewing parties with their subscribers. The only catch is that everyone who watches must be a member of Amazon Prime and the title must be available in their specific region.
There are a variety of third-party web browser extensions that allow people to link their Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO and other subscriptions to watch movies and TV shows with friends, such as Scener. Scener was one of many party-watching tools that have seen a jump in usage over the past few months as people who stay at home bend over to watch parties to stay close to friends. With increasing streaming, it is obvious that more companies want to give subscribers the opportunity to host their own events, right in the app.