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Credit: Netflix

YouTube to develop interactive material like Netflix's Bandersnatch

Contributed by
Apr 9, 2019

It looks as though Netflix isn’t the only streaming media service looking to develop more interactive original programming after the success of its first choose-your-own-adventure-style film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. YouTube is also developing new shows where the viewer can be proactive in where the story – and its hero – go.

YouTube has announced that Ben Relles, YouTube's former Head of Unscripted, has been named Head of Innovation, YouTube Originals. In this new role, Relles will oversee a new division established to develop interactive programming and live specials.

No word yet on what sort of interactive content YouTube plans to bring to the channel, apart from reports this newly created division not only will develop shows driven by interactivity but will also focus on integrating product features across both scripted and unscripted original content on the platform. So it appears that we’ll just have to wait and see.

"We now have amazing new tools and opportunities to create and tell multilayered and interactive stories," said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube, in a statement. "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."

This news follows the release of some conflicting reports about YouTube's plans for creating more original content, with a Bloomberg item suggesting the video platform's premium service is moving away from original TV-style content, while an article from The Wrap quoted a YouTube rep as saying the service still has "several scripted dramas and comedies in the works."

After the airing of Bandersnatch, Netflix promised to deliver more interactive content on its platform. Recently, the streaming giant announced the forthcoming release of a "new interactive animated show" for kids called Battle Kitty.

So, ready or not. Welcome to the new era of interactive TV.

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