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

by

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.

“[Bandersnatch] is a huge hit here in India, it’s a huge hit around the world, and we realized, wow, interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on,” Yellin said. “We’re doubling down on that. So expect over the next year or two, to see more interactive storytelling. And it won’t necessarily be science fiction, or it won’t necessarily be dark. It could be a wacky comedy. It could be a romance, where the audience gets to choose, should she go out with him or him.”

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.

Tag: Netflix

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
17 months ago
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."

https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith/status/1079471892946391040

Edit: corrected role
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
It still won't work on Apple TV?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Tom Hanks Discusses 'Heartbreaking' Shift of WWII Film Greyhound From Theatrical Blockbuster to Apple TV+ Exclusive

Monday July 6, 2020 7:53 am PDT by
Tom Hanks' WWII drama "Greyhound" is set to premiere on Apple TV+ this Friday, July 10, and ahead of that debut the actor gave an interview with The Guardian discussing the film. "Greyhound" was originally planned to see a theatrical release this summer, and was repeatedly delayed in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Apple won the streaming rights to the film, and in the new...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Model Size Compared to Original iPhone SE and iPhone 7

Saturday July 4, 2020 9:44 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 dummy models based on leaked schematics have been starting to circulate online and in online marketplaces. Not happy with the circulating size comparisons between the rumored 5.4" iPhone 12 and the original iPhone SE models, MacRumors forum user iZac took matters into his own hands and purchased his own 5.4" dummy model to provide more detailed size comparisons between the original...

Shipping Estimates for 27-Inch iMac Continue to Slip, Now Into September

Monday July 6, 2020 6:55 am PDT by
Amid rumors and hints of a forthcoming update for the iMac, supplies of Apple's current 27-inch iMac continue to dwindle with mid- and high-end stock configurations now seeing shipping estimates pushed back into September. The 27-inch iMac has seen tight supplies and extended shipping estimates for months now, but the situation has been gradually worsening to the point where new buyers can...

Apple Cuts iPhone Trade-In Values as iPhone 12 Launch Nears

Tuesday July 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
With just two months to go until the usual timeframe for Apple's iPhone launch events, Apple is cutting back on maximum trade-in values of previous-generation iPhones for those looking to upgrade to a new model. Maximum values on more recent models have dropped by $30–$50, while older models have generally dropped by $5–$20 with a few models seeing no change in value.iPhone XS Max: $500 to...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...