Bandersnatch, the interactive episode of Black Mirror, was very successful and Netflix wants you to enjoy as much interactive storytelling as possible.
“It won’t necessarily be science fiction or dark. It could be a silly comedy. It could be romance, where the public can choose: to go on a date or not” Todd Yellin, the Vice President of Netflix said.
The first step is to release a series of 8 episodes with survival expert Bear Grylls. So, the Netflix project somewhat continues the Discovery Channel series Man. Vs. Wild. But this time you’ll be able to choose what Bear Grylls does in his expeditions.
The reason why Netflix wants more interactive content
Firstly, this strategy helps Netflix differentiate itself from other streaming services. Appla has recently announced that new video services will be released, so Apple might pose a serious competition.
Second, besides being different than the competition, Netflix is trying to increase the time people spend watching content on the streaming platform. Cindy Holland, Netflix executive, said that the regular subscriber spends approximately 2 hours a day watching Netflix content. But the Netflix content only represents 10% of the time people spend watching content on the screen. However, streaming platforms are not exactly Netflix’s main rivals: “We compete more with Fortnight and we lose to HBO” Netflix says.
Netflix also hopes to gather more data about users. In February of 2019, a researcher discovered that Netflix has monitored and stored all choices Bandersnatch viewers made. So, Netflix is providing more interactive content in order to gather more data about users so they can be better served with recommendations, or at least this is what Netflix claims.