Netflix Party lets you throw a movie marathon
With the current consensus that the COVID-19 outbreak is only going to get worse before it gets better, people across the world are gearing up for a few weeks of self-containment. People are responding to the sudden widespread self-isolation differently, including setting up an appropriate work from home office, upgrading their WiFi to handle the congestion, and updating their streaming services in preparation for the world's biggest binge.
As you gaze upon your two-bedroom domain, you realize you've got all the ingredients for the perfect movie marathon: your laptop or PC, a premium Netflix subscription, and more Easy Mac and barbecue chips 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 favorite TV shows and movies with your favorite people, at a safe and sensible distance.
How to use Netflix Party
- Install the Netflix Party Extension (found here)
- Check that everyone in your party has the Chrome extension installed
- Subscribe to Netflix or login with your existing details
- Select the TV show or movie your party wants to watch
- Click the 'Netflix Party' icon in your Chrome Extension toolbar
- 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
- Click the blue 'Start the party' button
- Make sure 'Show chat' is selected
- Copy the URL provided by the extension
- Send the Netflix Party URL to your friends
- Done! Now you and your party can discuss what you're watching in the chat box
What is Netflix Party?
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.
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 binge-watching 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?
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 back in to Netflix. 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
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 one table.
Other recommended streaming services
Amazon Prime Video
Netflix not working? Try these troubleshooting tips
Netflix Party slowing you down? It might be your internet connection.