“We are putting viewers in the driver’s seat,” Netflix’s director of product innovation, Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, said to Variety last year.
Netflix is making history once again by allowing viewers to “choose their own adventure” on some of their upcoming original content.
The announcement was made by anonymous sources who reached out to Bloomberg stating that an episode of the Twilight Zone-esque show ”Black Mirror” will feature ”live-action interactive programming” in the shows upcoming fifth season.
Although, using such a feature in an award-winning show like “Black Mirror” creates a bigger headline. Netflix has already tested it out in various kinds programming. “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile,” have given audiences a taste of what is to come for Netflix users.
The user is given 10 to 15 seconds to select a direction of the show. The pros of the change are obvious. The re-watchability is multiplied by at least two as viewers can mix and match each decision providing new stories and outcomes. Netflix and audiences both win with the new change.
The thought of being able to design my own story is intriguing and does build excitement for the new season of “Black Mirror.” The new feature proves that Netflix is thinking about their audience. Shows that will use the feature will have to shoot more footage driving up the cost of production. Netflix is putting their customers over profit which is reassuring to hear after many unwanted changes in the past.
I was not in favor of the changes made to the rating system or the price increase. I also disagree with the addition of advertisements to certain shows. Netflix is meant for binging. I want to sit on my couch or in bed and watch endless hours of content uninterrupted. The issue I have with the previous changes is that there was no increase in enjoyment in binging.
A company that was founded on the purpose of binging should find a way to make the binging experience more enjoyable. The “choose your own adventure” feature, if it functions correctly, is a great step for Netflix. The company finally found a way to make binging interactive.
Netflix has put viewers in the predetermined director’s chair. Audiences will feel more connected to the characters and shows because we can now go on adventures with them and feel like we are a part of the experiences.
Imagine being able to decide whether someone lives or dies in a horror movie. Maybe the girl actually falls in love with the right boy the first time or the bully gets what they deserve. Netflix has put those choices in the hands of the customer and is doing something different than other streaming services.
Hulu did it once through a VR episode of a new show “Door No. 1.”Netflix is taking the next step by doing it directly through the streaming service and is using one of its most popular shows.
If successful, could we see a “Stranger Things” choose your adventure episode? It is a gamble for the streaming service but one I am embracing with open arms.
I am ready for the next wave of innovation to come to streaming sites. As a culture we spend the majority of our time looking at a screen. Netflix is doing the right thing in trying to get us to interact with it and I am all for it.
“Black Mirror” season five is expected to arrive on Netflix later this year or in early 2019.