Netflix To Let Viewers Pick How Movies End

One of the things you quickly learn as a writer is that viewers and readers never really want what they think they want. They desire what they could never have predicted. That’s why you never listen to ‘fans’ when you’re putting something together for a general audience.

I love Netflix. They’re great disruptors, and they’re driving the modern age of TV and film viewing. Now they’re planning to let viewers choose endings to movies and TV episodes, like a choose-your-own-adventure game.

I think this is a misunderstanding of both human psychology, and how storytelling works.

I’ve had meetings where I’ve been briefed on many new ways of telling visual tales, from VR, to AR, to this. One thing’s for sure – everything is going to change.

But the principles remain the same.

3 thoughts on “Netflix To Let Viewers Pick How Movies End”

  1. I think this idea was first mooted at the beginning of the ’90s or thereabouts, whenever cable TV was first becoming a Thing in the US. I seem to remember a slot about it on Tomorrow’s World, or somesuch. Didn’t catch on then, and I doubt it’ll catch on now, for just the reasons you’ve mentioned.

  2. Hasn’t this been done? I remember a show – might have been the 80s or 90s – where each episode ended on a cliffhanger and the viewers were give a choice of a handful of outcomes and whichever had the most votes was how the next episode began. Can’t remember the name or channel but pretty sure it was a British station.

  3. If Netflix’s data shows it’s a hit with viewers, I would expect every other broadcaster to follow suit. Until viewers become bored with it, as they will, just like 3D movies.

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