Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
The coronavirus outbreak is forcing many people to work from home. Most movie theaters are still closed. The good news? Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Disney Plus are around to help you pass the time. The bad news? You might still be by yourself. Is there any way to watch Netflix with friends for a Netflix party, or with any of the other streaming services.
As a matter of fact, there are ways to do just that. A few Chrome and other browser extensions let you watch movies and TV shows on Netflix with friends. While they are not officially supported by the service, they do make it easier to share the streaming experience, especially now. Let’s look at some ways you can watch Netflix with friends. We will also talk about some officially approved ways to watch HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video content with friends as well.
1. Netflix Party
Netflix party is perhaps the most well-known app or extension in order to watch Netflix with friends. It’s been around for a few years, but obviously many more people are checking it out. However, it only works on the PC in Chrome browsers. Here’s how to set it up:
- Download and install the Netflix Party extension from the Chrome Store.
- Launch Netflix on your PC and go to the movie or TV show you want to watch with your buddies.
- You should see an “NP” icon next to the Chrome address bar. Click on it.
- Finally, click on Start Party, and then you can send the URL to your fellow shut in friends.
This browser extension also has a chat bar so you can keep in touch with your friends while watching the movie or TV show. It also allows people to upload images, emojis and more.
While the extension is free to download, the developers behind it do have a Patreon page that you can support so they can continue to add features.
2. Scener (Netflix and HBO)
Scener is a more recent entry in this sub-genre. As with Netflix Party, this is a Chrome extension for your PC. Here’s how it works.
- Establish a free account on the Scener website.
- Download and install the Scener Chrome extension.
- Click on the Create Private Theater option in the extension, and then select Netflix.
- Finally, go to the show or movie you want to watch and send the included URL to friends.
Scener lets you chat over text, audio or video while you watch Netflix with friends. You can even establish groups so that, for example, your Office friends are different than your Parks and Rec friends. The company is working on a version for iOS and Roku.
More recently, Scener entered into an agreement with HBO. The agreement will allow users to set up movie and TV show watch parties with others that have access to an HBO subscription. The extension allows for up to 20 users at one time. The press release states that an upcoming update will add support for even bigger parties, along with support for watching HBO content with a live host or a live group via video chat.
If you want to watch Netflix with friends while on the go, Rave is for you. It’s available for iOS and Android. It lets you watch not only Netflix movies and TV shows with others, but also YouTube and Vimeo. You can even create your own music mashup with the RaveDJ feature. If you have your own videos uploaded to Google Drive or Dropbox, you can watch them with friends remotely in the Rave app.
Our last way to watch Netflix with friends is Kast. This app, formerly known as Rabbit, also supports YouTube and other services. You can download its official app for Windows and Mac PCs on its official website. Besides video sharing, the apps also offer video chat, and other features. It’s free to download and use, but there is a Kast Premium subscription for $4.99 a month. It ditches ads and also improves the video quality, among other things.
5. Twitch Watch Parties (Amazon Prime Video)
The Twitch streaming service, owned by Amazon, recently started offering support for its new Watch Parties feature. Currently, PC Twitch users who have subscribed to Amazon Prime Video, can join Watch Parties run by others. They can run these parties by using all of the thousands of movies and TV shows available on Amazon Prime Video.
Again this is just for PC Twitch platforms; this service does not yet work for mobile, game consoles, or smart TV apps.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for a Twitch account, if you have not already done so.
- Click on your Twitch username/icon on the Twitch.tv website on the top right corner, and then click on the Creator Dashboard option.
- In the Creator Dashboard, click on the Home menu on the top left corner, and then click on the Stream Manager option.
- Click on the Quick Action selection on the right side of the screen, and then click on the Start Watch Party option.
- You will then be shown a menu of featured Amazon Prime Video options. You can type in which one you want to use for your Twitch Watch Party. Once you find it, select it.
That’s it. All you have to do is launch your stream and begin your Twitch Watch Party.
6. Amazon Prime Video Watch Party
Even though Amazon recently launched Twitch Watch Party, the company has now launched another way to watch Prime Video content with others online. Amazon Prime Video Watch Party is slowly rolling out to US Prime members. This feature is only available for Prime Video PC web users in the US.
The big difference between the two systems is that there’s no app or extension needed for Amazon Prime Video Watch Party. Just go to the Prime Video website on your laptop or desktop and go to the movie or TV episode you want to watch and share. Here’s how to launch the Watch Party feature
- There should be a Watch Party icon on the page if the service is supported. Click on it.
- There should be a section on the right side of the page to enter your name. Type it in the box and then click “Create Watch Party.”
- You can then send the randomly generated web link to any family or friends that you want to watch the movie or TV show with. They must all be Prime Video members as well, and must all be in the US.
- Once those friends have received the link, click on the movie or TV show to begin the Watch Party.
As the host, you can also control the video that everyone else sees. You can pause, rewind, or fast forward through the video while the rest of the party watches. They can also communicate with you via the text chat feature, which also supports stickers. You can have as many as 100 people watching the video with you.
These are a few ways you can watch Netflix and more with friends, with Netflix Party remaining the most popular option. Of course, you still need something to watch. Here’s a look at what movies and shows you can stream on Netflix: