- Netflix released an interactive episode of its animated series "The Adventures of Puss in Boots," with multiple points where the viewer is asked to choose which plot point to follow, as reported by The New York Times.
- The episode was released Tuesday and, depending on the various paths available to viewers, lasts 18 to 39 minutes. Decision points come up every two to four minutes, and an example of a decision would be determining whether the titular character has to face nice bears or angry bears. People watching on devices with a touchscreen such as a tablet or smartphone tap the screen to make the choice and viewers on TV sets can use a remote control.
- The interactive feature is only a test for now, per the Times, but could prove to be enticing for younger viewers who are more prone to want to engage with the characters and story in the content they are watching along with the devices they are using to watch the content.
Though Netflix's interactive video is clearly still early days, it points to how video content — even long-form offering such as a TV series — is evolving as the role of digital technology grows. Brands are also recognizing that TV-like content is no longer constrained to actual televisions, or the rigid scheduling structures and media buying and planning that comes with that territory.
Hasbro, for the launch of its new Hanazuki line, opted for YouTube over TV, saying that viewing habits, especially among young demographics groups like children, are shifting to a more fluid, binge-watch model. Netflix helped introduce the concept of binge-watching to begin with, and "The Adventures of Puss in Boots" potentially presents new opportunities for Netflix to learn more about some of its high-value audiences.
While Netflix doesn't run advertisements around its shows, competitors that do might adopt similar content models that provide brands valuable insights and even an opportunity for interactive spots. These types of tech integrations underscore yet another way digital over-the-top (OTT) streaming services might start to hold an advantage over traditional TV. In May, Amazon's Twitch also dove into choose-your-own-adventure-type video storytelling, though that offering is driven by user comments to influence and direct the plot.