Netflix adding new format, choose your own adventure, interactive stories

    Have you ever watched a show, fallen in love with the characters and you could determine the outcome? Well Netflix have just announced a new format for shows that’ll do just that. Thanks to the bi-directional capabilities of IPTV, Netflix will prompted users to make decisions about the direction some new shows.

    To begin, there’ll be 3 interactive shows – Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale (launching today) and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile (coming July 14th) and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout (available in 2018).

    despite both having terrible names, they’ll both help make television history. Users will be able to interact with the show using most versions of the Netflix app.

    In the official trailer, we see the user selecting from right or left options, but the options for interactivity are really endless. Of course the development of a TV show in this interactive format will require much more work, with multiple paths through a show or perhaps alternate endings.

    Product Innovation director Carla Fisher said.

    “Content creators have a desire to tell non-linear stories like these, and Netflix provides the freedom to roam, try new things and do their best work.”

    “The intertwining of our engineers in Silicon Valley and the creative minds in Hollywood has opened up this new world of storytelling possibilities.”

    You may have noticed both of the initial titles are focused on content for children. Unfortunately this will be the primary focus for interactive content. Personally I’d love to see this with some of the A-list Netflix Originals. Obviously those additional costs multiply when real actors are involved.

    It’ll be interesting to watch how the new interactive shows are received and if it increases engagement as intended. When you introduce interactivity into what is obstensibly a passive TV experience, it is interesting to consider UX, particularly the decision of what to do if no input is received within a specified timeframe. Should the screen simply sit on the decision frame and risk burn in on TVs (admittedly not as big of a risk as it was with Plasma), or simply default to a ‘standard’ path through the show.

    More information available at Netflix. 

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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