Twitch has launched a new “social viewing experience” called Watch Parties, allowing Twitch streamers that hold affiliate or partner status with the platform to stream a catalog of Amazon Prime video content while engaging with their audience. And with that, questions have arisen as to what can and cannot be done and how Watch Parties work.
Here’s what we know:
A new Watch Party category has been added where viewers can search and see who is streaming what. Twitch Streamers must be subscribed to Amazon Prime, however, in order to show the content. Viewers do not need an Amazon Prime subscription and can watch and chat at their leisure.
The catalog of available Amazon Prime content includes Amazon Originals Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Hunters and Troop Zero and third-party content such as Star Trek, Survivor, and Psych.
Right now Watch Parties is available to Twitch Partners, Affiliates and viewers only in the United States. However there are plans to go global.
Twitch has developed a picture-by-picture feature that will allow streamers to be seen and heard while watching the video with no real extra work needed to be done by the streamer. No third party extension is needed to stream the picture-by-picture feature.
Some shows include content intended for mature audiences which includes strong violence and sexual content. Streams will have warnings prior to and during streams with such content. Also, Amazon ratings are available in the details section of a stream. With the catalog of available content for streamers having been created by Twitch, it appears that Twitch has selected shows that do not have graphic sex scenes and the like.
Viewers can still subscribe, cheer, and donate during these events as they would during a typical co-streaming event.
Watch Parties appear to be the natural progression as Twitch has regularly shown marathons of Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting, Power Rangers, Pokemon, and other content, allowing viewers to interact with each other during the broadcast.