There’s plenty of reporting about this new Netflix feature – interactive storytelling, and “branching narratives” which were introduced last week, but fundamentally, this could change TV as we know it – movies too.
The idea is simple – remember the choose your own adventure books? You’d get to a page and it would give you two options for how the characters should continue their story. Each option would have a page number, you turn to that page and continue reading.
You could read the book several times and enjoy a whole new adventure.
Now sit back on the lounge, imagine you’re watching a TV show, and there’s a pause on the screen – option 1 and option 2 – your controller is how you choose what happens next and you continue watching.
This concept is available now in two shows – Puss in Book and Buddy Thunderstruck.
These are just TV shows for kids, but just think forward – why would Narcos, or Orange is the New Black or frankly any TV show or movie not film multiple story tracks, add value to the viewer, increase the price of the content and just generally turn story telling on its head.
There’s nothing you need to do, your Netflix app on iOS and most Smart TVs is now ready for this.
Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale has already launched globally, while Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile is coming on July 14
A third “branching narrative” called Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout is coming next year.