Last May at Recode’s Code Conference in May Netflix, Inc. CEO Reed Hastings appeared. He talked about the success of their company is related to being more aggressive and experimental in some sense. As quoted he said, “we need to do more crazy things and take risks.”
The investors of the company esp. those who have been there for a long time already knows that Netflix implements experimental procedures that involves their consumers. For all you know, majority of the positive things that made the company to what it is now is because of the experiments done in the past. One of its experimental result is Netflix’s post-play feature. The company even allowed downloading of content for offline viewing and consumption is also one of its experiment, to name a few. But the most recent experiment could be a game changer.
Branching Technology is the latest move of Netflix that is being rolled out. This can make the program of the streaming company interactive. However, it is only compatible with the newest smart TV’s, iOS devices, Roku boxes, and game consoles. The technology boasts the capability of the viewers to be part of the program by using their remote or any form of controllers to influence the next move of the show they are watching. Different choices means different outcome, and there can be thousands and thousands of ways of watching a show with that.
Just this week, Netflix announced the first in a series of its interactive branching narrative programs. The content is exclusively made for children. The title of the animated program is Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale launched was launched on June 20, and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile on July 14. Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout will arrive next year.
This is an example of Branching technology at work. First you will of course start up your Netflix. You then watch the Puss in Boots because why not? You are enjoying the moment chuckling here and there from time to time. And then… you’re asked to make a choice — should you befriend the bears and Goldilocks, or should you consider them as enemies? Children watching this will then decide on the story unfolds.
According to Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, children are used to touchscreens nowadays that they think such phenomenon while watching a show is nothing but normal. “They think it is fun and interactive.” This technology puts watching streaming shows go head to head with playing mobile and video games. If the initial trial with children’s programs is successful, the trial will probably expand beyond animated kids’ fare.
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