Netflix’s Interactive TV Format

“Bandersnatch” was Netflix’s first big success with the interactive “choose your own adventure” format

By putting the same kinds of interconnected decision-making to work within one title, Bandersnatch can generate more robust pattern discovery and insights into trend analysis than traditional content can. Where the company previously focused its data gathering on the ways users engaged with its content — what they watched, when, and for how long — this new data is indicative of real-world decisions like product preference, musical taste, and engagement with human behavior.

In Bandersnatch, one of the most visceral decisions users make is whether games programmer Stefan (Fionn Whitehead) or his associate Colin (Will Poulter) will jump off a balcony. How users handle this decision — how long it takes them to click on one choice or the other, how often they return to (or avoid) a given option during replays — can be matrixed with the choices they make in resulting timelines. Those choices offer unprecedented insight about what Netflix’s subscribers want out of a story and what choices they most want to see characters take.

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