Something to look forward to: While the format had already been around for several years, Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch brought choose-your-own-adventure shows into the spotlight. Now, YouTube is reportedly developing interactive programs of its own.
Netflix already had interactive content on the streaming service before Bandersnatch, though this was mostly cartoons aimed at children, such as Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale. The feature-length Black Mirror show was such a success that another interactive series, called You vs. Wild, has just launched. It involves viewers deciding what presenter Bear Grylls does in different survival scenarios.
According to a Bloomberg report, YouTube wants to push into this category and has a new team that will develop interactive programming and live specials under Ben Relles, who had been overseeing unscripted content.
There already are some variations of interactive videos on YouTube, but the company now has “amazing new tools and opportunities to create and tell multilayered and interactive stories,” said YouTube’s Global Head of Original Programming, Susanne Daniels.
“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,” she told Bloomberg.
It’s been reported that YouTube is moving away from creating expensive, original scripted shows as part of a “serious budget reduction,” but it isn’t completely killing off its original programming. The company is expected to announce a lineup of new shows in the coming weeks and continues to buy content from producers. We’ll have to wait and see if its interactive videos become as popular as those on Netflix.