Netflix on interactive content: it was an experiment for kids shows

Last week, a report surfaced claiming that Netflix is developing TV content for its streaming service that will enable viewers to have an interactive role in the show's plot, making decisions about what will happen in the show to ultimately shape the outcome. That's not exactly true, it turns out, as Netflix has revealed that while some element of experimentation did happen involving this, it won't be something you should expect to see in your favorite original series.

The rumor first surfaced via Daily Mail, which claimed to have received word about the interactive content via insider sources. According to that report, Netflix is experimenting with a sort of "Choose Your Own Adventure" style of video content, enabling users to make crucial decisions about a character or a story during moments during a show.

The source reportedly said that, "[Netflix is] doing work on branch narratives so you are actually making choices as you watch. All the content will be there, and then people will have to get through it in different ways. We'll see how it plays out. It's an experiment. We'll see if it gets much success. For creators, it's new territory."

The report was exciting to many consumers, playing on nostalgic memories of the old 'Choose Your Own Adventure Books' that allowed readers to make decisions about what happens next in a story. It would indeed be a very unique way for Netflix to break new ground, and, it turns out, it is something the company has been experimenting with. Just not quite to the extent the initial report seemed to indicate.

In the midst of an unrelated political piece, the New York Times revealed a tidbit of info about this rumor: Netflix was experimenting with interactive content, but for kids shows, saying it was 'more as a development learning tool than as some new twist on modern media..."

While a tad disappointing, the note is also interesting because it is, to some degree, confirmation that Netflix has indeed dabbled with (is still dabbling with?) a very unique kind of streaming content. There's no further information about whether the company is planning to introduce anything like this in the future, unfortunately, but the simple act of exploring the topic is enough to keep one's hopes up.

SOURCE: New York Times