Caavo has repurposed their deep-linking, time-stamp smartness to launch a timely and hardware-free Netflix watch party. Well, the Watch With Friends experience does require some hardware. Just none produced by Caavo.
Whomever is hosting would establish a watch party in the Watch With Friends iOS or Android app for Roku and Apple TV playback. Folks do require their own Netflix account (or not) and their deeper Netflix integration on Apple TV requires the Caavo companion app. But, it’s all accessible and quite free. The mobile apps even include text chat, but feel free to move the conversation to more capable providers like Zoom or Facetime.
Beyond synchronous viewing with friends, in chatting with Caavo CEO Andrew Einaudi (my old Sling Media compatriot), the service can also provide a means of parental monitoring — while he’s teleworking in the office, he’s able to monitor what Netflix shows the kids are taking in on the streamer downstairs.
For the first cut of Watch With Friends, Netflix is the only content provider… but others are being looked at. Also there’s no security at this point — as in, knowing a party name is enough to join. Which seems low risk on all levels.