Why There Might Be Commercial Breaks at Hulu Watch Party

Hulu’s Watch Party is now available to all subscribers. This feature originally debuted back in May for ad-free Hulu premium plan subscribers, but is now standard on all Hulu plans, including ad-supported offline subscriptions, and ad-free and Disney + / ESPN Now / Hulu Bundle users. … However, fill your party with people using different types of subscriptions and you will all suffer the same troubles.

Hulu Watch Party: the basics

While all Hulu on-demand users can now use Watch Party, the same basic restrictions apply as with the co-viewing feature launched earlier this year:

  • Watch party supports up to eight users per session, and each participant requires their own active Hulu subscription to join.
  • Watch Party only works through the Hulu website on a computer, laptop or tablet. Smartphones, smart TVs, game consoles, and dedicated streaming devices are not yet supported.
  • Only select TV shows and movies can use Watch Party, although there are “thousands” of titles supported, according to Hulu.
  • Watch Party is disabled on kids’ accounts / profiles (must be at least 18 years old to use).

What happens when you invite different types of subscribers to the Hulu Watch Party

The introduction of the service means that the Watch Party experience will differ depending on the user’s Hulu subscription level. For example, if one of the observers is on a plan with ads, the content will periodically pause for everyone while these users are shown ads. (Subscribers without ads will not see ads, only paused videos.) The only way to watch without ads or pauses is to make everyone in your group ad-free.

These restrictions roughly match similar co-browsing features in Disney + , Movies Anywhere, or Messenger, although Hulu is one of the few to include an integrated group chat feature that allows your group members to exchange messages and post emoji reactions while you are.

How to start a Watch Party on Hulu

  1. Open Hulu.com in your computer or tablet browser.
  2. Scroll through the library until you find what you want to watch. Watch Party-enabled content will have a new multiplayer icon next to the Start Watching button on the program’s Details page (you can see it in the screenshot above).
  3. Press the Watch Party button.
  4. When prompted to open the Watch Party virtual room, select Start Party .
  5. Copy and paste the url to your friends and ask them to open the join link (they will need to log into their Hulu account first if they are not logged in in their browser).
  6. When everyone is in, click Start Party to watch.

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