YouTube Reportedly Working On Interactive Originals

Apr 9, 2019
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Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch paved the way for an entirely new genre of entertainment; the 'choose-your-own-adventure' genre. The concept of letting people choose their own adventure is not new and has existed in books for a long time. But, it's an entirely different ballgame when you incorporate it into TV shows. The technology simply wasn't there yet.  Even now, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch isn't available for viewing on a host of devices such as Chromecasts and Apple TVs. Now, it looks like YouTube is developing choose-your-own-adventure-style shows.

According to Bloomberg, YouTube is reportedly working on a unit that will develop interactive programming and live specials. YouTube has already experimented with interactive advertisements but the equation changes when there are multiple choices involved. Netflix remembers the choices a user make throughout a story and makes adjustments accordingly.

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It is no easy feat technically and artistically. Constructing multiple storylines and interconnecting them takes time and effort. YouTube is scaling back on their original shows to make room for the new projects. The initiative will be led by Ben Relles, who has worked at YouTube for eight years and has been overseeing unscripted programs until now. Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s head of original programming, said in a statement.

We now have amazing new tools and opportunities to create and tell multilayered and interactive stories. 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.

YouTube is still committed to making original programs, albeit in a limited capacity. The company will announce a new slate at an event in New York in a few weeks and has continued buying projects from producers. Youtube's original content has been more or less lacklustre and isn't quite up to Netflix/Amazon's standards just yet. Given the success of Netflix and streaming services, it is clear that streaming media is the future and YouTube doesn't want to miss out on the action.

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