Scener Enables Streaming Watch Parties – Variety

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Right here’s a brand new method to just about watch HBO reveals with as much as 20 of your folks, whereas many Individuals are nonetheless caught at dwelling underneath lockdown.

Seattle-based startup Scener has launched assist for HBO that allows co-watching options for HBO Now and HBO Go viewers through a Google Chrome browser extension. The WarnerMedia-owned premium programmer started working with Scener on the characteristic earlier this spring.

HBO subscribers can create their very own non-public theaters on Home windows, Mac, or Chromebook by downloading Scener’s free extension from the Chrome Net Retailer. Viewers can host watch events with mates, enabling as much as 20 folks to observe synchronized streaming programming from HBO over video chat. Scener plans to quickly launch assist for greater co-watching events.

Scener, which first launched in 2018, presently additionally helps Netflix co-viewing classes.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the necessity to join just about with family members, and Scener’s partnership with HBO offers a improbable method to work together,” mentioned Joe Braidwood, co-founder and COO of Scener. “By combining the worlds of stay video chat and streaming leisure, Scener makes it straightforward for viewers to get pleasure from considered one of our most beloved pastimes — watching TV collectively — from a protected distance.”

As for whether or not Scener’s system will assist HBO Max, set to launch Might 27, Briadwood mentioned he was unable to remark.

Phrases of HBO’s take care of Scener usually are not being disclosed, however there’s seemingly a revenue-sharing settlement in place. “Our income mannequin is to accomplice with suppliers of SVOD and AVOD video leisure to drive engagement round their content material,” mentioned Braidwood.

As well as, Scener is taking a look at methods massive co-watching occasions may present different alternatives. “One of the best instance right here is how Twitch has constructed an economic system with Bits round tipping and shout-outs,” Braidwood mentioned.

The Scener Digital Film Theater browser extension synchronizes playback for all viewers (who should every have an HBO subscription). The interface encompasses a sidebar to let contributors interact in video, audio, and textual content chat.

Scener’s Google Chrome extension helps HBO Now and HBO Go for Macs, Home windows PC, and Chromebook. A webcam is required for video chat, and headphones are beneficial. Scener was incubated by media-streaming firm RealNetworks, which is the first investor.

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