4th September 2020
Amazon owned Twitch has launched Watch Parties to all users globally this week, allowing users to watch Amazon Prime content together online.
As of this week, anybody can host an online ‘watch party’ with the Amazon Prime video library on their Twitch accounts. The feature is similar to the Chrome Extension ‘Netflix Party’ which allows people to watch Netflix titles together whilst participating in a chat and also apps like ‘Scener’, which allows people to stream Disney Plus, Netflix and HBO titles together in the US.
The Watch Parties feature was previously tested in the US in October last year. For now, the feature is only available on desktop and not on mobile devices but Twitch is looking to make the feature more widely available soon. To use the new feature, streamers will need to add the Watch Party Quick Action to Stream Manager and then connect the feature with their own Prime account.
Streamers will be able to hold public Watch Parties with any audience, providing they all have an Amazon Prime account. While the content is being streamed, viewers will also be able to see the Twitch streamer’s video. Viewers can also subscribe to the streamer’s channel while watching and use features on Twitch such as Bits, which are mini-donations you can buy on Twitch to show support for streamers. Streamers with international followings can stream videos with their fans across the world. Titles that are available in multiple countries will be labelled as ‘broadly available’.
This global launch of Watch Parties comes as people have been spending more and more time at home and co-viewing experiences are becoming increasingly popular. The new feature is another example of how Twitch has been expanding beyond its core as a gaming platform, over the past year. It has also seen a rise in the popularity of ‘Just Chatting’ channels, where streamers can interact with fans without streaming gaming. Twitch also signed a deal in June to stream Premier League football matches in the UK. Since the pandemic, there has been a rise in musicians and other performers using the platform to continue performing for their fans.
Most of the advertising opportunities on Twitch lie with influencer marketing. By expanding the platform’s capabilities beyond purely gaming, it opens the platform up to different types of influencers and consequently raises potential opportunities for more brands to the use the platform, which also brings it into more direct competition with other social platforms such as Instagram and video platforms such as YouTube.
The launch of Twitch Watch Parties expands the capabilities of the platform and keeps users within the Amazon ecosystem of services and products. The continuing expansion of Twitch into more genres beyond gaming will help encourage more advertisers to consider it within their plans and with the power of Amazon behind it, there is great potential for the platform to become one of the big social players.