Don’t you hate it when you binge your way through several episodes of your favorite show, just to be smacked in the face with an ending that is either completely confusing, insulting to your intelligence, or so obvious that it ruined the last 6 hours of your life?
Well geekies, Netflix plans on changing that.
That’s right. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the company that transformed (and destroyed) the video rental industry is now going to be changing the way we enjoy our shows by making them a choose your own adventure.
According to the report, Netflix is developing several specials that will “let viewers choose the next storyline in a TV episode or movie.” The first of these specials are expected to be released later this year with the season release of the Emmy-winning anthology series Black Mirror.
The interactive Black Mirror episode is just the first of many toe-dippings into interactive programming for Netflix and will require a lot of testing and operational finagling as creating a hydra of an episode can be costly from a production perspective as they’ll need to account for myriad scenarios that users can shift back and forth between.
That all being said, not much has happened from an innovation space when it comes to this form of storytelling so it’s ripe for an explosion of experimentation. Especially as we are in the throes of the multi-screen generation, it’s getting harder and harder to captivate and keep focused an audience who just can’t seem to sit in front of their televisions without the crutch of a phablet, tablet, phone and laptop. Adding a layer of interactivity will help immerse viewers into a world similar to a low-fidelity virtual reality experience.
I’m excited for this new form of entertainment. And I’m even more excited at the prospects this opens up for the future of the medium. Imagine when Netflix or Amazon finally create a VR experience of a show that lets you fully interact with it, like really talk to the characters and drive the climax and conclusion… Talk about choose your own adventure!