Anyone else miss movie nights with friends? Just me? Nah, I know you do too. My friends and I used to all pile into one person's apartment and split bottles (and bottles) of wine and stream our fave movies for the 693rd time. Then the pandemic happened, and the same activities that gave us refuge from our busy lives and breakups and whatnot became sources of danger and anxiety. The good news is that there are several easy ways you can simulate watching a movie together...while apart.
The most popular option is probably Netflix Party, which recently changed its name to "Teleparty," and then there are a few other streaming services and third-party websites—all of which make streaming a movie together remotely a breeze. So, quick: Text the group chat and set a date and time to have a movie night—maybe even a double feature!
Yep, it's the exact same thing as Netflix Party but without the Netflix branding. (Yeah, I don't get what they're up to, either.) Using a Google Chrome extension, you can communicate in the group chat while streaming the same show/movie. It synchronizes the video (important so you all stay at the same pace—NO SPOILERS!) and the best part is you don't have to stream Netflix content only. It's also available to use via Hulu, HBO, and Disney+. (Okay, so maybe now I get the rebranding decision...) Almost forgot to mention the best part—it's free as can be to use. WATCH NOW
Amazon Watch Party
You can add up to 100 (one! hundred!) people to stream content using Amazon Watch Party. Do you even actually *like* 100 people? Yeah, me neither. Either way, it's a good option, especially if you're in a sorority or a marching band or have a super large extended family, etc. To access Watch Party, you have to join Amazon Prime Video, which costs $8.99/month. WATCH NOW
Scener, which bills itself as a "virtual movie theater," is probably the most flexible option on this list. It allows you to use any streaming service you want to co-watch. You can have a watch party with up to a million guests, which is, um, obviously probably a few more than you really need, and you can say hello to your pals via your webcam and everyone's video will play in sync. By the way, Scener is FREE! (Though sometimes hosts require you to pay for a ticket or you might have to shell out for a specific movie rental.) WATCH NOW
Hulu Watch Party
Hulu couldn't miss out on all the fun, duh. The Disney-owned service has its own version of a watch party, allowing subscribers to stream video playback with a group chat. It's online-only, but you can always cast it to your TV to make the experience feel more movie theater-like. Depending on your Hulu plan, you could pay anywhere from $5.99/month to $64.99/month for this. WATCH NOW
TwoSeven was created by a long-distance couple who clearly get what it feels like to be separated from your ride-or-dies. TwoSeven brings you together (virtually) and is accessible through a variety of services, including HBO Max and AppleTV+. Through the live video option, you can also see your boo's face as they react to the movie, which is a delightful lil feature. TwoSeven asks for payment through Patreon, and depending on the features you want to splurge on, subscriptions range from $3/month to $20/month. WATCH NOW
Okay, sometimes you just don't have the time—or mental energy—for a full-length film. If you and your crew just want to stream YouTube videos for an hour, then you should try Metastream (which is free unless you choose to help support through a donation). You can queue up video URLs so you don't even have to break up the viewing experience. SNL clips, here we come. WATCH NOW
This one's for my super organized friends (fellow Virgos, wya?). Watch2Gether lets you organize your videos into playlists. It's like Pinterest for streaming. Mmhm, just the thought of it gives me so much peace. This service is free, or you can pay $3.49/month for premium. WATCH NOW
Disney+ is not about to get left out of the virtual streaming experience. They obvs created their own version that lets you watch any title on Disney+ with your friends and family while using the app. Um, that means DCOMs too!! Groupwatch is included in your Disney+ subscription for $6.99/month or $69.99/year. WATCH NOW
You can really pick whichever website/plugin works best for your sitch. I suggest testing a few and then choosing the option that truly makes you feel like your bestie, S/O, mom (or all three!) are sprawled out on the couch right next to you.
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