Netflix has been experimenting with TV shows that provide an element of interactivity, allowing viewers to alter the course of the program by choosing among a number of options mid-show. Those have been aimed primarily at kids or young teens, but now the company has confirmed plans to bring the format to adult viewers.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Bloomberg that it’s preparing an experimental show aimed at older audiences after seeing how younger viewers responded to the shows it created for kids. As with the youth-oriented programming, viewers will be able to choose from a couple of alternate storyline options at key junction points in the show, changing the plot considerable.
Choose-your-own-adventure TV isn’t entirely new – NBC was working on one back in 2008, for instance, and HBO’s Steven Soderbergh project Mosaic is a much more recent example, which launched in November this year alongside a companion app.
Still, it obviously hasn’t taken over from linear storytelling as a popular medium for video content.
Netflix is also dabbling in other formats, including comics; it’s publishing its first along with comic creator Mark Millar and his publishing imprint Millarworld, which it acquired earlier this year. Clearly, Netflix wants to do more than just create original versions of traditional TV and movies to flesh out and differentiate its service – but this remains an adventure I’m not certain a significant number of adult audience members will want to embark upon.