The game has changed entirely for cable operators over the last few years, due to the onset of over-the-top (OTT) streaming content services that are now soaring in popularity.
It’s important to look beyond the threat of cord cutting that OTT services pose, and consider some of the interesting ways that providers are pushing the industry forward.
Netflix, for instance, recently announced a new service that will let viewers choose their own endings. According to CED, Netflix’s new chose your own ending programs will allow younger viewers to control storylines for two popular characters: Puss in Boots and Billy Thunderstruck.
Netflix plans to make the content available at launch across iOS devices and “most TV experiences.”
“Content creators have a desire to tell non-linear stories like these, and Netflix provides the freedom to roam, try new things, and do their best work,” Netflix explained. “Being an internet-based company enables us to innovate new formats, deliver at scale to millions of members all over the world on multiple device types, and, most importantly, learn from it.”
This is a big step forward for the media industry as a whole, as it represents a departure from the traditional viewing experience that consumers have been used to. It’s safe to assume that if this experiment works, Netflix may continue the practice with content aimed at older audiences.
It’s also a challenge for the cable industry, to keep innovating and exploring new ways of interacting and engaging with audiences. The success of the industry will depend on it—because services like the one that Netflix is offering are only going to proliferate in the OTT space over the next several years.