Amazon adds Prime Video Watch Party feature for India users

At present, the feature is limited to only desktops and is not accessible via devices like mobiles or smart TVs.

Amazon on Monday said it has added 'Prime Video Watch Party' feature for users in India that will enable customers to watch content with family and friends on the video streaming platform.

"Prime Video customers in India can now enjoy Prime Video Watch Party, a native social viewing experience on desktop that is available for Prime members at no additional cost to their membership," a statement said.

Prime Video Customers will be able to host and participate in Watch Party, providing synchronised playback - which the host controls and a chat feature to communicate with participants, it added.

Watch Party will accommodate up to 100 participants per session. Each participant, however, must have a Prime membership or Prime Video subscription.

Currently, the feature is limited to only desktops and is not accessible via devices like mobiles or smart TVs.

The company said customers will be able to choose from thousands of titles available in Prime Video's subscription video on demand (SVOD) catalogue, including Amazon Originals like The Family Man, Mirzapur, Inside Edge, and Made In Heaven.

Online video consumption has seen massive growth in the last few months as COVID-19 pandemic has restricted social activities like visits to movie theatres. Companies are now looking at offering experiences that are similar, albeit ensuring social distancing.

Earlier this year, Disney+ Hotstar introduced a 'Watch with your friends' feature during the IPL season that allowed users to video chat with their friends while watching the live stream of the match, all on a single screen. Facebook has a Watch Party feature on its platform as well.

Amazon Prime Video competes with players like Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and ZEE5 in India.

Earlier in November, Amazon Prime Video announced its foray into live sports streaming in India and challenging the likes of Disney+ Hotstar, which dominates the segment, and SonyLIV.

Amazon has won the exclusive rights to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) matches, including both men’s and women’s cricket — across ODI, T20, and Tests — starting from the 2021-22 season through to the 2025-2026 season. This also includes Team India's tour to New Zealand in early 2022 and a second tour whose dates are yet to be announced.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Megha Reddy