As the ongoing pandemic and upcoming cold weather keeps many people inside, Disney+ rolls out a new feature to help viewers endure it with entertainment.
Disney+ users can now connect with friends for a movie marathon—remotely. The streaming service launched “GroupWatch”, a new feature that lets subscribers invite up to six friends or family members to watch a show or movie together. To keep up with the socially-distanced times, friends and family can log on from wherever they may be. All viewers that join a GroupWatch party must be Disney+ subscribers, which could help Disney gain new users as friends and families join to watch content together. GroupWatch does not include a chat feature to avoid movie distractions, but viewers can still share real time reactions via emoji. GroupWatch, which is available in North America and Australia, works on any device with a Disney+ app, including phones, computers, and smart TVs.
As Disney+ gears up to launch several highly anticipated projects—including the recently released Mulan and the second season of The Mandalorian—its new GroupWatch feature could increase time users spend on the app. Disney+ made viewing parties available for every title in its library, which could help draw in new users looking to watch certain shows or movies with friends. Rolling out the group viewing feature shows Disney+ is tuned in to shifting consumer preferences during the pandemic, which could help it boost loyalty with users and attract new subscribers, according to a Gartner report. GroupWatch also keeps Disney+ leveled with other streaming services, such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo Sports, and Twitch, which have all launched watch party features during lockdown. Disney+ could stand out amongst its competitors because unlike Hulu or Amazon Prime, Disney+’s GroupWatch is TV supported. Additionally, many young consumers and students are unable to socialize with friends right now, so GroupWatch could help them stay connected over shows and movies targeted to them.
The launch of GroupWatch could help Disney+ increase user engagement and stay top of mind as a solution to socially-distanced hangouts. By adding its new, timely feature, Disney+ could also bring in more subscribers and continue to stand out amidst the ongoing streaming wars.