Watching someone play a video game while they make inane/stupid/insightful comments has become a big industry, as has illegally streaming pirated content under the guise of playing a video game, so Amazon has decided to combine the two activities with a new program called “Watch Parties” where top-level streamers on Twitch can watch specific Amazon Prime content along with their subscribers, complete with a “thumbnail picture-in-picture in the corner of the screen” showing the streamer as they react to whatever’s happening in the movie or show. Could it be the worst way to watch a movie? Not at all, not when looking over someone’s shoulder on a plane exists, but it’s gotta be close.
Variety explains that this is a way for Amazon to push its library of Prime videos, though everyone involved in a Watch Party will need to have a Prime subscription, whether they’re the host or a watcher. It makes sense in a synergistic way, since it will get Twitch users to watch Prime stuff and Prime users to pay attention to Twitch subscribers, but Amazon is really just advertising its content to people who already pay for it. It’s a little weird. Variety also compares this “co-viewing experience” to Mystery Science Theater 3000, which is also weird, since it implies that Twitch streamers will be cracking jokes as they watch Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan or A Simple Favor. Also, considering the way a lot of video game streamers tend to behave, how long before someone says something racist while watching The Boys or whatever?
Variety has the full list of shows included in this deal, with more expected to be added by the end of the year. It includes Amazon stuff like The Grand Tour and Carnival Row, plus non-Amazon stuff like Vikings, Workaholics, and some movies. It also includes Monk, so excuse us while we quit this job and become full-time Monk streamers. We’ll say cool gamer shit like “no scope!” and “get good, casual!” when Monk solves the crime!