Movies Anywhere Unveils Its Own Watch Together Feature

Since lockdown began, co-viewing parties have been all the rage, though the separate apps and plug-ins allowing for these kind of shared streaming experiences have been largely inconsistent. While unofficial parties have made Netflix viewing parties a regular occasion, official watch party options from Twitch and Hulu haven't gained much traction. But Movies Anywhere, the digital movie library app operated by Disney, is attempting to unify the shared streaming experience with its newly unveiled Watch Together app.

Movies Anywhere Watch Together

Movies Anywhere has unveiled a new co-viewing feature, Watch Together, which will allow up to nine viewers (with profile ratings set to PG-13 or higher) to join a shared room and chat via text in real-time as they watch a film. Participants can also connect with each other by reacting to the content they're viewing in real-time with emojis. The Watch Together feature is available on mobile, web, and smart TV apps.

The Movies Anywhere app is free, but all Watch Together viewers must either purchase the movie or receive a Screen Pass for that title. Screen Pass is still in open beta and allows users to share select movies they've purchased with friends and family for a limited time.

Here's how Watch Together will work: to start a viewing, the user must search for the title they would like to watch in Movies Anywhere. From the details page, select the Watch Together button and the "I want to host" button. The user will then receive a 6-character room code and a URL to share with guests.

Watch Together holds a few advantages over other official watch party options. Hulu only allows viewers to join watch parties from the web app, and all participants must be subscribed to the ad-free tier.  Twitch requires its watch party viewers to subscribe to Amazon Prime. Watch Together is available on mobile, web, and several smart TVs, according to Engadget. Like most good things, it doesn't come free, per se, but if combined with Screen Pass, only one person has to pay for the movie. However, it is unfortunate that everyone in the party has to own the movie in their digital libraries in order to share the experience on Watch Together.

Movies Anywhere's Watch Together function appears to be the best official watch party thus far, as Netflix still hasn't released an official feature for shared viewing since the features disappeared from Xbox 360.