Netflix has Bandersnatch, and now YouTube wants to get into the choose your own adventure market for programming. Interactive media isn’t necessarily new, video games and books have dabbled in the format for decades. Now, with Netflix having led the charge into making interactive tv with Bandersnatch, Google wants in on that market.
“We now have amazing new tools and opportunities to create and tell multilayered and interactive stories,” Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s head of original programming, said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Ben has an intuitive and experienced understanding of how the platform can enhance content, making him the perfect choice to develop this exciting new division.”
With Interactive programs, users can guide the choices the characters make to open up new scenarios and choices. While a book can easily direct you to turn to Page 42 to see if Karen speaks to the manager or not, a TV show will have to be prepared to load any and all scenarios at the drop of hat. Technologically, that’s where the difficulty in making interactive shows comes from, and where giants like Netflix and Google have the edge.
YouTube currently charges users a premium to watch its own ad-free programming but the firm has been cutting down on that content in recent months as reported by Variety. It’ll still be producing new shows, just scaled back.