Interactive TV, Netflix and Community Spirit

Interactive TV, Netflix and Community Spirit

 

Interactive TV

 

There have been so many false starts to interactive television, it has become to seem like an experiment which will never yield results. The craze of interactive comic books and new video game technologies saw some “vote-for-what-you-want-to-see-next” programmes broadcast in 1980s America, but with little appreciation or durability. Some critics place talent shows such as Pop Idol and The X Factor in the interactive TV format, but adaptable narratives have never entered the mainstream.

 

So why all the talk?

 

Interactive TV has reentered the film and TV discussion in recent years, with online video platforms providing the perfect medium for audience reciprocation. The struggling Facebook Watch has announced that interactivity will be unrolled as a major feature of much of their upcoming content, with polls and questionnaires posed to live audiences.

Fully interactive TV narratives, however, are harder to implement. Netflix learned this last year with the half-hearted roll-out of its children’s show Puss in Book. Now, however, Netflix is poised to seriously reinvigorate the interactive TV format. They are introducing a “create-your-own-adventure” episode to its lucrative acquisition Black Mirror.

 

Here’s the thing

 

Black Mirror is appropriate for a foray into interactive TV because it tends to explore the alienating impacts of modern technology. Choose-your-own-story interactive TV fundamentally misunderstands the evolutionary and cultural function of storytelling.

 

Storytelling is a social phenomenon. It allows communities, small or large, to have a feeling of shared experience. Television programmes have become national sensations because people talked about them in dining rooms, playgrounds and offices. Stories are not supposed to be experienced in isolation.

 

Interactive TV 2.0

 

LiveTree’s unprecedented approach to film and TV will make all video content community-based and essentially interactive.

 

When LiveTree users watch films and television programmes on Blossom TV, they can decide what comes next – sequels, new series or brand new projects. Users can back new content with Seed tokens and then hold a stake in the product, earning profits when it hits the screen.

 

LiveTree users will be deciding what content gets made. And creators will have the option to pitch ideas to backers and develop the narrative along with their audiences. LiveTree is returning power back to audiences and control back to creators. LiveTree allows creators to be assured of a fanbase, and allows market demand to manifest directly in production.

 

Discover the true value of storytelling.

 

LiveTree vs. Kickstarter: get planted-not kicked

Kickstarter is the largest platform for crowdfunding a new business or creative project. Alongside it, the relatively new LiveTree is a just a sapling. But it’s growing.

kickstarter offers failed campaigns a relaunch
Getting kickstarted

When considering your options, there are two big questions you need to answer: Who are you funding for? And who are you funding from?

Who are you funding for?

Sounds pretty obvious: what is the project and how will the money be used? This will become the central framework to any good campaign, establishing why you need the money, and why anyone should hand it over.

To an extent you’re also funding for, well, the crowdfunder. Upwards of 8% of the money you raise through a Kickstarter campaign will go in fees.

But have they persuaded you why you should hand over your money?

Let’s have a look at what you get for that fee. The Kickstarter model relies on the creator’s own social media network to form the initial donor base. Kickstarter is a way to organize and activate your tribe, it does nothing to create or build it.

It’s not all about the money

Kickstarter follows an all-or-nothing set up, so you only get charged a fee if you reach your target, as do your donors. The idea is that it takes away the fear of giving money to a project that will be a dud, because it guarantees social proof, which is what we all experience before watching a new series on Netflix: if I’m going to sacrifice another twenty hours of my life mindlessly absorbed in another program, it needs at least three unprompted shoutouts on Facebook before I do.

If we’ve learned anything from recent global events, it’s that social (media) proof can’t guarantee we a good idea will get approval. In a great blog, Dale Pearson describes how ‘group-think and insularity have been hard-coded into our everyday lives via a vast online echo chamber’.

Social proof is no longer enough, and without it your project might sink. In fact as of August 2016, the success rate of fully funding a project on Kickstarter was just 35.85 percent.

Dale is right that this generation needs to be not just the ‘online generation’ but also the ‘networking generation’. But don’t worry, you wont have to engage your racist uncle in debate to break out of this echo chamber – LiveTree will help build a network of creatives (that you don’t have to see every Christmas).

A creative network to power your project
A creative network that powers your project

Who are you funding from?

Like Kickstarter, LiveTree uses a rewards system, where a successful campaign will send thanks and goodies to its contributors. Unlike its rival, however, LiveTree also offers supporters the opportunity to become ‘branches’, and receive commission every time they promote further fundraising. Branches can support other projects and gain access to a network which extends into creative communities and beyond.

This means anyone in the LiveTree network could end up supporting and promoting your idea.

Crowdfunding has taken off partly as a result of the difficulty in accessing individuals and organisations who traditionally support such projects. What if, as well as developing an online community, you were able to open up opportunities with industry funding bodies and professionals? LiveTree does more than just provide a platform, they work with creators to support development before, during, and after their campaigns.

After the campaign, LiveTree helps creators to move beyond funding, and connects them with respected suppliers. If you don’t reach your target, you have the chance to make your case directly to your donors.

LiveTree grows your project
A community that grows with you

When an organisation is motivated by building communities and developing creative projects, it is in their interests to nurture them from the start. Projects need more than just capital to get started. It will ensure those projects are ready to fly before being launched, and will provide a network of branches to call home.

Create one today. Get growing.