Although the streaming service has not made plans to feature this kind of interactive viewing in, say, a future season of “House of Cards,” the potential is there for it to eventually expand beyond children’s programming.
The interactive initiative comes as Netflix is locked in a battle with the rival streaming services Amazon and Hulu over creating and acquiring as much children’s programming as possible.
Last year, Nielsen released a study that said that children 2 to 11 were watching two fewer hours of live television a day but that the amount of content they watched on digital platforms had spiked.
And the streaming services, which depend on paid subscriptions, are doing everything they can to hook children, and, by extension, their parents’ wallets. Last summer, Amazon acquired a significant amount of PBS’s library of original series to exclusively stream on its service, stealing away many titles previously available on Netflix and Hulu.
HBO is involved in the game, too: Two years ago it acquired first-run rights to “Sesame Street.” (The episodes still air on PBS at a later date.)
Netflix, which has spent serious money on original dramas, stand-up comedy and even Emmy campaigning, has made a huge investment in children’s programming. Currently Netflix has 47 original shows for kids, a number expected to jump to nearly 60 by year’s end and to 75 by the end of next year, a spokesman for the service said.
Netflix said its interactive project was more than two years in the making. As the creative team behind “Puss in Boots” developed plot points, Netflix needed time to improve its technology. Netflix will release another interactive episode next month involving its “Buddy…