The last time you saw an Amazon Prime movie or show, were you thinking how much better the experience would be with your favorite Twitch streamer sounding off his opinion on the piece of content? If so, Amazon has decided to grant your wish by allowing top Twitch live-streamers to host 'Watch Parties' on a selection of movies and TV shows they offer.
The watch party will work in much the same way as regular video game streaming works on Twitch. Starting Thursday, some of the biggest streaming channel hosts on Twitch in the U.S. will be able to live-stream videos of themselves watching Amazon Prime offerings from a selection of 70 movies and shows. The followers of the streamers will be able to view the live-stream and write in their own comments alongside the streamer's commentary and reaction. Note that only the streamers and their followers who have Amazon Prime membership will be able to take part in the Watch Party.
The titles available to streamers include Hunters, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Troop Zero and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as well as third-party licensed content such as Farscape, Mr. Robot, Marvel's Avengers, Psych, and America's Next Top Model among others.
Twitch has also mentioned that the entire Prime Video on-demand catalog will likely be available for Watch Parties by the end of the year. For Amazon, the new program is another way for them to advertise their programming to outsiders. For Twitch Streamers, it is one more way to interact with their fans over a shared love of content.
Twitch Partners will be offering a bunch of subscription offers with various perks, with 50% of the money going to the streamer. Fans will also be able to purchase 'Bits', starting at $1.40 for a pack of 100 Bits to send special premium emoji to the streamers via chat. Finally, Twitch Partners also earn a share of revenue generated from any ads played on their channel.
Twitch had launched a small-scale version of Watch Parties last year, and the current lockdown is what prompted them to expand operations rapidly. The world of 'Reaction Videos', (which is what Watch Parties basically are), has been a thriving section of Youtube for years, where vloggers record and post videos of their reactions to new movies/trailers/foreign content to their audience, which can often number in the millions.
Recently, Rection Videos took on a whole new paradigm when filmmakers like Zack Snyder, Taika Waititi and James Gunn hosted live-streams of themselves watching their own movies along with fans while contributing their personal commentary and behind-the-scenes factoids. The practice became very popular on social media, which might have had a hand in prompting Twitch to speed up their Watch Party operations.
Amazon Prime and Twitch's partnership is yet another indication of how the entertainment industry is trying to adapt to life under lockdown, which threatens to become the new normal with each passing day. Time will reveal the success of Watch Parties, and whether the practice will catch on with other streaming giants as well. This news comes from Variety.