COVID no deterrence to watch parties with friends...virtually at least, find out how!
A watch party is a free service from digital streaming giants such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, where friends watch shows together in a synchronised manner.
Whoever thought that coronavirus would be a reason to party? Yet, India is partying online as the new entertainment normal, getting together and celebrating IPL, OTT, stand-up comedy et al.
A watch party is a free service from digital streaming giants such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, where friends watch shows together in a synchronised manner. It has group chat to talk about the show as it streams. The responsibility to control the story is on one person, while the rest enjoy the show.
For example, Amazon Prime Video India series, The Boys, is a superhero story with a serious twist. As the series ended, Comic Con India hosted the season’s greatest watch party.
The final showdown between The Boys and The Supes had pop-culture fans sharing their love and stories by the hour. Popular stand-up comedian Sahil Shah added the humour. Almost all OTT platforms are now trailing this trend by introducing the feature to make entertainment more dynamic. So is Facebook.
Since the premiere of the series, Comic Con India has been running a weekly campaign in association with Amazon Prime Video, showcasing the highlights of each episode via a special artwork post on Instagram.
Weekly moments illustrated by some of India’s leading comic book artists were reposted by the lead actors on their respective social media handles.
“In an ideal world, we would all love to watch it together live. This is the next best thing,” says Comic Con India’s founder Jatin Varma. He adds that there are many more surprises in store for fans as well as opportunities to win The Boys merchandise.
Watch parties are changing the game. Any number of IPL watch parties has sprung up. While it’s hard to replace the stadium-like vibe virtually, it comes quite close to the real experience. Some of the popular parties are the Delhi Capital Virtual Parties, the Watch N Play on Disney+ Hotstar VIP and Viru Ki Baithak, all of which will be hosted on a regular basis till the IPL finale.
Hosted by various RJs from Fever 104, the DC watch parties, which recently went live across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Delhi Capitals’ website, natch, allow fans to watch matches together and enjoy experiences through victory celebrations, chants, handmade banners and placards, team discussions, painting their faces and wearing the DC colours—truly making a ‘Blue Digital Dilli’ come to life.
The watch parties are often theme-based, such as All Women’s Toli and DC Cubs Watch Party. Special invitees such as family members of DC players, Covid warriors and fans of the opposition team are invited from time to time. Each attendee is allotted a fan kit, consisting of a T-shirt, flags, masks, ‘We Roar Together’ silicon bands and a personalised note from the official fan group. Dhiraj Malhotra, CEO of the Delhi Capitals, says the response has been phenomenal.
The unique Delhi Capitals official fan community, the DC Toli, includes virtual meets over Zoom calls where 25-40 fans participate in fan engagement activities, such as the induction of new DC Toli members, banner parties, dance and musical performances, poetry and shayari recitations among others. Another new initiative is the introduction of the tarot card reader who interacts with attendees, making interesting predictions. An interactive Watch’N Play social feed being hosted by Disney+ Hotstar VIP allows a virtual community of cricket lovers to share excitement and support, while watching the matches live.
Starting September 19, all live matches are exclusively available to new and existing subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar VIP and Disney+ Hotstar Premium. Cricket lovers join in the action by expressing themselves using ‘Hotshots’ selfies or a new video feature ‘Duets’ that lets fans create customised videos, showcasing their rendition of famous shots while watching. Cricket fans can’t miss out on the Viru Ki Baithak watch party being hosted by Virender Sehwag in which he shares his views on the ongoing IPL. The series, which is streamed on Facebook Watch, is aimed at connecting cricket fans around their favourite cricket moment of the year. It combines Sehwag’s cricketing expertise with his inimitable style to present the viewers with a fun experience. Watch it, you may check in but never leave.