Interactive storytelling on Netflix: choose what happens next

June 30, 2017 - 6:19 PM
'Puss In Book' on Netflix

If you loved Choose Your Own Adventure books and computer and video games that allowed you to change how the story went, you’ll love this Netflix innovation.

Imagine watching a TV show and you could change how the story progressed. Netflix just debuted Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale, the first of its interactive kids TV show. Puss in Book will let kids (and adults) choose what Puss does in the story.

Think Choose Your Own Adventures but in video form. While Netflix isn’t the first company to company to tackle branching narrative in video form, it is the first one to do interactive content on this scale.

Netflix first came out with interactive storytelling with last year’s launch of Kong where it introduced “unlockables. ” This time around, Netflix is bringing this dynamic format to multiple devices and millions of members across the world. With the virtues of being software-based,

Puss In Book’ on Netflix

Netflix is the first to deliver this type of format at this scale.

With Puss in Book, Netflix subscribers will able to choose from two choices and most of them are absurd and downright funny. Choose to battle a god or a tree. Or dress up as Goldilocks or face a formidable enemy. Become a pirate on the seas or survive an evil feline queen. There are a number of things to do in Puss in Book and all of them will progress the story in imaginative and funny ways.

What’s even better is that users can relive Puss’ adventures and choose differently and get different outcomes.

This is all part of Netflix drive to put the consumer in control of what they watch, when they want to and on any device. This new tech innovation, unlocks a new element of this — the ability to choose the direction of a story.

By telling non-linear stories, it expands the possibilities of how stories are told and how viewers engage. It’s breaking the traditional format model and trying new things to bring more variety and value to users.

Netflix says that children’s programming space was a natural place for the company to start since kids are eager to “play” with their favorite characters and already inclined to tap, touch and swipe at screens. They also talk to their screens, as though the characters can hear them. Now, that conversation can be two-way.

Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale will be followed up this July, with another interactive TV show called Buddy Thunderstruck: the Maybe Pile. There will be more interactive title coming out next year. These titles will be available on Smart TVs that support Netflix as well as iOS devices.

The hope is that someday (perhaps next year), we’ll start watching TV shows with non-linear stories. Imagine watching Black Mirror and choose to end the story in a slightly lighter note. Now that would be awesome.

Puss In Book’ on Netflix