Hulu Officially Launches Watch Party Feature

Hulu has officially launched the “Watch Party” feature for Hulu subscribers on Hulu.com, allowing up to eight Hulu subscribers to watch together.

After launching Hulu Watch Party through the “Watch Party” icon on each title’s Details page, viewers can share a link with up to seven other Hulu subscribers to join. Viewers must be 18 years of age or older to access the feature. While watching, group members are able to react in real-time through the chat function and control their own playback.

“Pen15” and “The Bachelorette” have been popular titles for Watch Party during the testing period, according to the service.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Rakuten Viki Launches Private Watch Parties

Asian content-themed SVOD Rakuten Viki Oct.26 announced new software that enables subscribers to host their own private Watch Parties for friends and families in the United States. Following the initial summer rollout, the new feature enables users to schedule their own private viewing sessions from a wide selection of movies and TV shows.

The virtual group watch feature has become all the rage at competing services such as FandangoNow, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV and Hulu. Rakuten Viki’s Watch Party allows viewers to interact without the assistance of auxiliary apps and services. 

By logging into their Rakuten account, users can host their own private Watch Party and join other “parties” for free using a link provided by the host. Currently, the private Watch Party only works with select movies and the first episodes of drama series. Once a Watch Party starts, users can interact with others within the community via a chat board running parallel to the media player, as well as select subtitles and personalize subtitle preferences. In the future, Watch Party plans to expand to all drama episodes, increase content availability, incorporate more community features, and be available in more regions.

“The new feature is … another way for us to bring our community together to engage conversations with each other, especially in the midst of the pandemic,” Cathy Chang, VP of product at Rakuten Viki, said in a statement.

Rakuten Viki, which costs $4.99 a month for ad-supported standard access, and ad-free Plus Pass for $9.99 a month, is currently promoting watch parties around select Halloween movies, including The Wailing and Rampant

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The debut of the new viewing feature comes as Rakuten Viki expands service across 150+ languages. The service has a collection of more than 1,400 TV shows and movies from Korea, Japan, mainland China, Taiwan, and Thailand. Its library includes myriad movies, romantic comedies, K-dramas, and variety shows both current and classic, with many available the day after they air in their origin country.

Subs can find titles such as Korean zombie thriller Train to Busan, Chinese romantic comedy Go Go Squid!, K-Drama Hotel Del Luna, and K-pop survival show “I-LAND.” Rakuten Viki also houses a number of Korean shows that inspired U.S. TV shows, including “The Good Doctor,” which served as the basis for the eponymous series on ABC, and “King of Masked Singer,” which served as a model for Fox TV’s “The Masked Singer.”

Hulu Launches Watch Party Promo for ‘Pen15’ Season Two Premiere

To celebrate the Sept. 18 premiere of season two of “Pen15,” for the next 10 days, Hulu users will be able to stream the Emmy-nominated comedy together through a series-branded Hulu Watch Party feature.

In keeping with the theme of the show, the Watch Party experience resembles a classic online chat room, complete with screen names taken from the series.

Viewers can launch the Hulu Watch Party through the details page for the series on Hulu.com. Clicking on the Watch Party icon will trigger a shareable link that a user can then share with their friends or family. Hulu Watch Party supports up to eight people per session and viewers must be 18 years of age or older to access the feature.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Viewers can also call 1-855-HULU-FAN to hear a pre-recorded conversation between the show’s lead characters Maya and Anna. Callers can listen in on a conversation between the two best friends, provide their cell phone number when prompted and receive a link to download a digital pack complete with Zoom backgrounds, GIFs, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and phone wallpapers. Fans (who are 18 years or older) can dial 1-855-HULU-FAN starting at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET through Sept. 30.

Amazon Rolls Out ‘Watch Party’ Platform Enabling Prime Video Members to Watch Content Socially Connected

Amazon Prime Video has joined Hulu, Netflix, HBO and other digital platforms in unveiling a social media campaign, dubbed “Watch Party,” that enables users in the United States to live-chat with other connected viewers during a movie or TV show.

Prime members will be able to choose from thousands of titles available on the platform’s SVOD catalog (titles available at no additional cost to Prime members), including Amazon Originals such as Emmy Award winners “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” “Hanna,” “Mindy Kaling’s Late Night,” “Donald Glover’s Guava Island,” “Troop Zero,” Academy Award-nominated The Big Sick, “The Boys,” “Homecoming” and “My Spy,” among many others.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Titles feature a special “Watch Party” icon/link that can be shared with up to 100 other Prime members and accessed when clicking on the link. Co-viewing content has become popular as segments of the country remain sheltered-in-place during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Netflix Party” (on Google Chrome only) and HBO’s “virtual theater” enable multiple viewers to share access to a title or episodic program on portable devices. Amazon first tested the “Watch Party” concept this past spring on its Twitch video game streaming platform.

Follow us on Instagram

Prime members will be able to host and participate in Watch Party, providing synchronized playback, which the host controls, and a chat feature to communicate with participants along with built in stickers. Watch Party will accommodate up to 100 participants per session (each participant must have a Prime membership or Prime Video subscription and must be based in the U.S.).