Six streaming video options that let cord-cutters stream movies together

With much of the world hunkering down to limit the spread of COVID-19, many of us have more time than ever to work through our TV show watchlists.

But this can quickly become a lonely affair. As self-quarantines stretch on, we’ll need more ways to stay entertained at home while remaining in contact with friends and family members.

To that end, I’ve rounded up a list of “watch together” apps, websites, and extensions, which allow you to converse with other people while watching videos in sync with one another. Some let you communicate through text, and others through voice and video, but they all help fulfill the need to stay in touch with others even when you’re stuck at home.

Netflix Party

netflixparty Vendor-supplied art

Netflix Party is a straightforward Chrome extension that adds a chat window to Netflix videos. After launching a video, you click the “NP” button in your browser’s toolbar to generate a shareable link, allowing others to watch and comment on the same video, with playback synchronized across all devices.

Bear in mind that everyone still has to sign into Netflix separately, as Netflix Party doesn’t let you share access to a single account. (There are, however, other tools for that.)



Scener is conceptually similar to Netflix Party, with a Chrome extension that synchronizes Netflix playback across devices, but it also allows for video chat at the same time.

The downside is that it’s more of a hassle to use. After installing the extension, you must create a Scener account, and after setting everything up, I ran into some bugs: Netflix refused to load any profiles except the default one, and emoji didn’t seem to work at all. Still, the video chat function works as advertised, with resizable chat bubbles that float over the video window.


rave Rave

While the above options require a laptop or desktop computer, the free Rave app lets you host and join viewing parties on either iOS or Android. Best of all, it works with a bunch of video sources, including Netflix, YouTube, Tubi, and Google Drive (for your personal video collection). The app can be a little clunky to navigate, but overall it works pretty well, and it allows for both text and audio chat. For the latter, there’s even an option for karaoke, though I can’t comment on how well the music and audio chat sync up.

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