Netflix will soon allow viewers to choose the endings of some of their favorite TV shows. Starting with an upcoming episode of Black Mirror, Netflix subscribers will soon have the ability to participate in a choose your own adventure style of story that will determine the outcome of that episode.
Although Netflix began as a direct mail DVD rental service, it changed the television industry when it started offering a streaming service that included existing TV shows, as well as its own original content. Not only that, but Netflix allows its subscribers to watch full seasons of TV shows in one or two sittings, which led to the concept of binge-watching. Because of its unique approach to programming, Netflix recently became more popular for television viewing than traditional broadcast TV, cable, Hulu and YouTube. Perhaps this is why Netflix continues to pump money into producing more original content.
Some of that content, though, is now getting an upgrade. According to Bloomberg, Netflix will soon offer a more interactive experience that allows viewers to decide how their favorite TV shows play out. Although Netflix has already offered such an experience with its children's show Puss In Book, the company has plans to expand the concept to its more mature shows, too. When the new season of Emmy-winning sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror arrives later in 2018, one episode will allow users to choose how that episode plays out.
Interactive TV isn't an entirely new concept, and the idea of interactive TV shows and movies has been around for a while, but Netflix could bring the idea to the forefront of the television industry and once more change the way that viewers watch TV. Interactive television, though, is not without its challenges. Because each choice made by the viewer needs its own separate story, scripts are more extensive, meaning more hours for writers to come up with possibilities for each branch of that story. This also means that actors and crew spend more time working on each additional scene, making the process of creating a TV show longer and more expensive.
However, if Netflix pulls it off, interactive TV could become the wave of the future. It wouldn't be the first time that the subscription streaming provider changed the television industry, and it may not even be the last. Netflix seems well-versed in always looking forward to keeping its subscribers entertained, and interactive TV is just another way that the service plans on doing that.