Netflix Party lets you throw a movie marathon (from a safe distance)

Ain't no party like a quarantine party.

Brodie Fogg
Editorial Lead
Read More
December 03, 2020
3 min read
Image of the Netflix Party Tool being used while watching The Witcher series
This creative Chrome plug-in allows you live-chat with friends while bingeing the best of Netflix.

With the current consensus that the COVID-19 outbreak is only going to get worse before it gets better, people across the world are readying up for a few weeks of self-containment. There's a few ways people are responding to the sudden widespread self-isolation, including setting up an appropriate work from home office, upgrading their WiFi to handle the congestion, and updating their streaming subscription details in preparation for the world's biggest binge.

As you gaze upon your two-bedroom domain, you realise you've got all the ingredients for the perfect movie marathon: your laptop or PC, a premium Netflix subscription, and more Easy Mac and Potato Gems than necessary. You've got just about everything you need. Everything, except human contact.

Well, the good people at Netflix Party have created a social streaming solution for these isolated times that lets you binge-watch your favourite TV shows and movies with your favourite people, at a safe and sensible distance.

Netflix Party is a clever Chrome plug-in that allows you to live chat with friends as you watch the same TV show or movie in real time. The app itself works just like Twitch chat or Discord; a text-based stream of comments and emojis to the right of the video you're streaming.

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Looking for something new to stream tonight? These services offer free trials so you won’t pay a cent unless you decide to keep subscribed once your trial’s up.

How to use Netflix Party

  1. Install the Netflix Party Extension (found here)
  2. Check that everyone in your party has the Chrome extension installed
  3. Subscribe to Netflix or login with your existing details
  4. Select the TV show or movie your party wants to watch
  5. Click the 'Netflix Party' icon in your Chrome Extension toolbar
  6. Select 'Only I have control' if you want to be in charge of the stream or leave it blank if you want to allow everyone to control playback
  7. Click the blue 'Start the party' button
  8. Make sure 'Show chat' is selected
  9. Copy the URL provided by the extension
  10. Send the Netflix Party URL to your friends
  11. Done! Now you and your party can discuss what you're watching in the chat box

Does everyone need a Netflix subscription?

This was our first question. We’re not strangers to password-sharing but if Netflix Party allowed that, it’d be begging for a cease and desist from Reed Hastings’ cronies.

Each member of your Netflix Party has to have their own subscription but in our trials, it doesn’t seem to matter if one person is streaming on Basic Standard Definition and the other in 4K Ultra High Definition.

Is Netflix Party free?

Absolutely. The Netflix Party Chrome Extension is 100% free.

You can, however, choose to donate to the developer’s Patreon to thank them for the feature. $5 per month on Netflix Party’s Patreon will help the Netflix Party team work on new features. Currently the Patreon lists plans to rollout new emojis, inbuilt voice chat, and expansion plans for other internet TV streaming services.

We’re hoping for a Disney Plus Party Extension. Imagine bingeing through the Star Wars saga with your Jedi council in the lead-up to The Rise of Skywalker’s Disney Plus release.

Is Netflix Party safe?

We’ve taken a gander at Netflix Party’s Privacy Policy and it all looks above board. The extension uses anonymised and aggregated service-related usage data to help improve its functionality but it doesn’t doesn’t actively collect any personal details. Netflix Party doesn’t require its own login, only that you’re logged in via Netflix, so there’s no username, password or any other personal details that you need to provide.

Most importantly, Netflix Party does not store messages and chat logs sent between friends in the interest of the user’s privacy. If you’re still a little wary, you can check out the Privacy Policy for yourself.

Netflix Party not working?

If you’re having trouble getting Netflix Party started, there could be a few reasons why. First step is to log out and log in to Netflix again. If that doesn’t work, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Chrome extension.

Still no luck? If you and your Netflix Party peeps are streaming from different countries, it’s possible one region has the selected content and the other doesn’t. Ask the person having trouble connecting to search for the TV show or movie on their own Netflix platform. If it’s not available on both subscriptions, you won’t be able to stream together.

Lastly, check your ‘Do Not Track’ settings in your browser’s settings. Some browsers allow users to block selected websites from gathering browsing data. The Netflix Party extension will not work if ‘Do Not Track’ is selected.

More streaming options in Australia

If you're a little over Netflix and need to spice things up in the living room, we can't really help you there. But go crazy! In the meantime, if you're looking for another distraction to ward off the working-from-home blues, we've rounded up every streaming service in Australia in one table. See what's on offer below.

Streaming service comparison
Service
More info
Rating
Monthly price
Max. Video Resolution
# of streams
Available deal
NetflixNetflix
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$10.99 - $19.99 4K 4
Apple TV+Apple TV+
4 out of 5 stars
4
$7.994K6
Disney PlusDisney+
4 out of 5 stars
4
$11.99 4K 4
ShudderShudder
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$6.99 HD 1
Hayuhayu
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
$6.99HD1
Paramount+Paramount+
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
$8.99HD3
BritBoxBritbox
3 out of 5 stars
3
$8.99 HD5
Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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