Vevo is giving its viewers a new way to watch music videos with friends: The video service launched a new feature dubbed Watch Party as part of its web version Thursday that essentially plays the same video in sync across multiple computers.
Users who join a Watch Party can chat with each other, and each Watch Part can be joined by an unlimited number of users. A Watch Party can function as a kind of collaborative real-time playlist, with users voting for their favorite music videos to decide what will play next.
Alternatively, a user can decide to launch a Watch Party in host mode, effectively stepping into the position of a DJ while the audience is listening, watching and chatting.
Watch Party effectively works a bit like Turntable.fm, a collaborative music streaming service that let users listen to songs in thematic chat rooms, complete with voting for individual tracks. However, the key difference — other than the addition of videos — seems to be that Vevo already has a proven business model, whereas Turntable.fm was struggling to monetize its service, forcing it to shut down in 2013, two years after its original launch.
Vevo announced the launch of Watch Party at SXSW in Austin, Texas Thursday, where the company also unveiled a revamped iPhone app. The new iOS interface puts a bigger emphasis on playlists and favorites as a way to personalize music discovery.
Vevo’s new iOS app will launch by mid-April, whereas Watch Parties will become available on the web in late March.