- Netflix plans to make more interactive TV shows in the format of “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” company officials said Thursday.
- The movie was popular with viewers and excited video content makers, officials said.
- Company officials see an opportunity in offering the system Netflix created to produce “Bandersnatch” to content creators.
The choose-your-own adventure format of “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” was a novelty when Netflix debuted the movie last month.
But it will soon become a lot more common, if the streaming video giant has anything to say about it.
“You should anticipate we’ll do more of those [interactive shows] as we start to explore that format,” Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, said on a webcastThursday following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report.
“Bandersnatch” is nominally about 90 minutes long. But viewers can determine the outcome of the movie by choosing different alternatives along the way. In total, the creators of the show produced five hours of video for it, giving viewers “countless” ways to experience the story, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said.
The interactivity of the movie excited and engaged consumers, company officials said. It also enticed video content makers.
The show “has got storytellers salivating about the possibilities,” Sarandos said on the webcast.”We’ve got a hunch that [the interactive format of “Bandersnatch”] works across all kinds of storytelling,” he continued, “and some of the greatest storytellers in the world are excited to dig into it.”
Netflix sees an ‘opportunity’ in interactive video
Netflix is also excited about it, and not just because such choose-your-own adventure shows could have viewers tuning into its service for longer periods.
Creating “Bandersnatch” was an intensive and challenging effort, company officials said. Netflix ended up creating a system called Branch Manager to make the process of producing the episode more manageable, company officials said in a letter to shareholders. The company plans to use Branch Manager to produce future episodes, officials said in the letter.
But Peters seemed to imply that Netflix could eventually offer Branch Manager as a paid service to content creators or licence it to them.
“In that challenge [of creating interactive shows] is an opportunity,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to bring technology to bear to create a tool set for creators to make that process easier and more effective.”
Netflix posted mixed fourth-quarter results. Although it reported a strong rise in paid subscribers, its revenue fell shy of Wall Street’s expectations and its own forecasts. The company’s stock fell 4% on the news.
- Read more about Netflix’s earnings-related news:
- Netflix says that ‘Bird Box’ will be viewed by 80 million accounts in its first month
- Netflix says its hit British series ‘Sex Education’ will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and it has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes
- Netflix says its creepy series ‘You’ will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and data supports that the show is a massive hit
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