- Movies Anywhere has introduced a remote movie sharing feature, Watch Together, for up to 10 people.
- You donâ€™t need to buy a copy of the movie if the host has Screen Pass.
- The feature works on mobile, smart TVs, and the web.
The pandemic is probably preventing you from joining friends to watch movies in person, but Movies Anywhere might have a reasonable alternative.
The movie locker service has introduced a Watch Together feature that lets you and up to nine other people watch a purchased movie in sync on mobile, smart TVs, and the web. You just have to send room codes to those who want to tune in.Â While you canâ€™t chat through the app, you can send emoji reactions or ask the host to pause, rewind or fast-forward.
You wonâ€™t necessarily need a copy of the movie, either. Any host whoâ€™s part of the Screen Pass beta can send up to three passes to guests to save them from buying the title or redeeming a code. You will need a PG-13 or higher profile to start watching, so younger kids canâ€™t start viewing parties on their own.
There arenâ€™t many restrictions at this stage beyond the inherent limitations of the US-only service and the Screen Pass beta. You canâ€™t watch bonus features attached to a given movie, but any title that works with Movies Anywhere is eligible.
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To some extent, Watch Together is the product of necessity. With many movie theaters still closed due to COVID-19, this is one of the only ways you can legally watch purchased movies (including ones that skipped theaters altogether) with people outside your household for a long while. This could also help studios drive movie sales at a time when ticket sales are plunging â€” you may be more likely to buy a movie if you know friends can share the experience.
Itâ€™s still an important addition even with that pragmatism in mind. This is a rare opportunity for shared movie viewing across multiple services and platforms. A friend who bought the movie through iTunes can keep up on an iPad while you host from your Android TV box. Itâ€™s just a question of whether or not enough people in your would-be audience are willing to pay.