Netflix 'Doubling Down' on Interactive TV Shows, Unclear if Any Will Be Available on Apple TV

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Netflix plans to output even more interactive television shows similar to the Black Mirror episode "Bandersnatch", but it's unclear as of now if any of these will work on the Apple TV. Netflix vice president of product Todd Yellin announced the company's intent to make more interactive content at a conference in Mumbai today (via Variety).


    These shows, and potentially movies, will extend beyond the science fiction setting of Black Mirror and could even include romances, comedies, and more, where the audience gets to choose the outcome. Yellin said that the output of these stories will increase over the next two years.
    When "Bandersnatch" released in December 2018, Apple device users had to watch the episode on an iPhone, iPad, or web browser to get the full experience. When selected on the Netflix Apple TV app, a brief apology video would play and point users toward the correct device with which they could watch the episode.

    Despite being unavailable on Apple TV, "Bandersnatch" can be viewed on TV streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Android TV. Netflix has launched interactive TV shows before, including "Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale" and "Minecraft: Story Mode." While some of these kids' shows are playable on Apple TV, like Puss in Book, they are linear versions that automatically choose the outcomes for you.

    Others, like Minecraft, display an apology message on Apple TV and ask you to visit a supported device to watch the show. Although the Apple TV remote lacks the more complex controls provided by game consoles, computers, and smart TVs, it's unclear why Netflix hasn't figured out a way to get these shows to work on the Apple TV with the Siri Remote.

    Still, this isn't the first time Netflix has been at odds with an Apple platform or service, as the streaming company continues to resist support for Apple's TV app. We've reached out to Netflix regarding future support for its interactive shows on the Apple TV, and will update this article if they provide a comment.

    Article Link: Netflix 'Doubling Down' on Interactive TV Shows, Unclear if Any Will Be Available on Apple TV
  2. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I love Black Mirror, but I haven't watched Bandersnatch yet because watching tv shows on my iPhone or computer is annoying and reminds me of air travel, which is bad.
  3. gemoritzt macrumors member


    Oct 7, 2015
  4. JimmyBanks6 macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2017
    Bandersnatch was terrible. The “plot” was boring and unoriginal.

    Interactive movies have existed for decades and they’ve always been a gimmick. Bandersnatch was no different.

    Just invest in traditional shows and cut out the filler that Netflix Originals are starting to become known for and the service will succeed. Invest all your money in gimmicks and B tier shows and it will flounder.

    Your move Netflix.
  5. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    That's disappointing that it's still not Apple TV. I haven't watched it yet but would like to. I'm not going to watch on a tablet or phone though.
  6. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
    Why won't they support ATV? Is this Netflix being lame and considering Apple competition in their space, so they are watering down content on Apple devices?

    The ATV has way more power then my Roku streaming stick - there's no way that it does not have the processing power to handle this.

    With all of this exclusive content to streaming platforms, pirating will eventually make a comeback after the industry solved the issue.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 12, 2019 ---
    Do shows like this work if you watch on your iPad and stream it to the Apple TV, instead of just playing it on the ATV?
  7. Polardude macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2004
    A Netflix engineering manager commented on the issues regarding implementing such interactive TV shows on the Apple TV:

    "I can’t get into all the reasons around this, but Bandersnatch and other interactive titles on iOS are indeed built with AVFoundation and UIKit. Branching playlists are not supported by Apple’s APIs, so the implementation we have to achieve seamless playback is non-trivial."

    Edit: corrected role
  8. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    Watched Bandersnatch, and thought it was an interesting concept. The plot itself was okay, but bringing the branching storyline to other shows/movies would be fun.
  9. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    All I want to know is: was the Bandersnatch accurately depicted as being frumious?
  10. UndefinedxJoker macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2014
    You’re not missing out on much. It was an experiment and in my opinion it failed. It might have worked better with a comedy.
  11. Joe The Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2006
    and what about network nuatrlay getting into the mix?? ISP's that own content and / or have there own video system can really mess things up.

    and if they push to far and program access rules show up that bans exclusive content or at very least exclusive content tied to one box. Then what?

    there is talk that NFL ST may go non exclusive next year as well.
  12. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I watched Bandersnatch and while I enjoyed it overall, I don't want to repeat the exercise often.

    At the very least, I hope interactive episodes like Bandersnatch can be viewed traditionally, a director's cut if you will.
  13. Kaibelf macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I will NEVER change the streaming device I use just to be able to access "features" in some movie. They should get with it and fully support AppleTV finally. Between this and their lack of support for the TV app, they are accomplishing nothing but pushing me into the arms of Hulu and Amazon for content.
  14. alpi123 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2014
    I don't like the idea of interactive shows. You should be able to watch a movie/show without any interruptions, from beginning to end, and not have to make a decision every 5 minutes and messing up the plot and original script.
  15. lewdvig macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    South Pole
    Maybe it’s the stupid remote? It’s the worst control device ever devised.

    In fact all apple inputs excluding touchscreens, pencil and touch pads are terrible these days.

    We pay so much for compromised experiences. Eventually the Final Cut and iLife loyalty hand cuffs won’t be enough. Hope Apple figures that out. Or maybe they will just become a services company.
  16. AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    I say they make a sequel to Bandersnatch starring Benedict Cumberbatch tending to a cabbage patch.
  17. JWiLL1988 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2017
    That’s easier said than believed.
  18. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

    May 15, 2015
    near Boston, MA
    Netflix is getting to a point of being very lackluster with overwhelming amount of barely average shows and less quality...if T-Mobile stops bundling it with their service, I won't continue.
  19. -Garry- macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    Did people really enjoy the interactive features of Baldersnatch?

    I didn’t think it was the greatest Black Mirror episode to date (that crown goes to San Junipero for me!) and the interactive element was downright annoying. It was a fun concept but actually, I didn’t enjoy reaching for the TV remote every few minutes. When watching TV, I’m quite happy to have the story pumped into me.

    Perhaps I’m just getting old.
  20. gnipgnop macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2009
    That's to be expected. The "disruption" part doesn't have anything to do with the content you're going to get. All of these companies are hiring the same people that already worked in network and cable TV.
  21. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    Netflix is one of the most user hostile software service going. They treat their users like crap. Judge them but what they do, not what they say. I hold Apple to the same standard. Stop talking and show me.
  22. iReality85 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2008
    I’m of the opinion that if I’m going to watch tv, I want to sit my ass on the couch and be mindless.:D I want good entertainment fed to me, not me having to come up with good entertainment by choosing a story path.

    And besides, “interactive tv” to me is gaming.
  23. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Trouble is, all the fun in Bandersnatch stemmed from the fact that it was a "choose your own adventure" about a guy writing a "choose your own adventure" game (and it goes deeper) that got all meta, drove a bulldozer through the 4th wall and, as such, turned all of the limitations of the format into plot points. Oh, plus 80s nostalgia...

    You can't keep on re-hashing that idea - and without the meta, its just Zork for the illiterate.

    ...and Minecraft? Any time I want an interactive Minecraft adventure, I just run Minecraft - which is the problem: seems to me that this is an idea who's time came and went with Laserdisc and early CD-based video in the early 90s - we're getting to the point where it can be done with 3D computer games like Minecraft, GTA etc. that can mix truly interactive segments with scripted "cut scenes" (that no longer look like pasted-in videos) and multiplayer.
  24. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
    This is not a failure of Apple, but of Netflix. I can play the popular game Transistor on my Apple TV. That’s infinitely more interactive than a choose your own adventure movie.
  25. Joe The Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2006
    There is an room for dragon's lair with more interactive and less hit button X now to not die.
    But also say something like silent steel maybe with less choice points.

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