Choose Your Own Adventure-style shows are on the rise

About two-thirds of youth like to put their own stamp on the entertainment they consume, and a new wave of shows is letting them do just that. Like the Choose Your Own Adventure book series popular during the ‘80s and ‘90s, networks are giving viewers a say in how the story evolves and offering a more active entertainment experience.


This summer, Netflix piloted two CYOA-style shows for kids, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile. The positive response from young viewers and their parents inspired the streaming giant to produce similar programming for an adult audience. Viewers will be able to choose which storyline to follow, and re-watch the same show again with different results. Young professionals are taking a similarly CYOA-style approach to building their career trajectory, in part due to their desire for customization in a shifting global economy.


For the approximately four in 10 youth who think entertainment content today is becoming indistinguishable, HBO’s new Mosiac app might help. The platform’s original show of the same name is a 7.5-hour long murder mystery with segments that can be viewed in a unique order selected by the viewer, providing a different experience for everyone. Though the end always features the same outcome, viewers can follow the story from the perspective of various characters and dive into extra features not included in the main narrative.


Interactive storytelling platform Eko is streaming the first two episodes of its new CYOA-style series, That Moment When. Young audiences desire more content that feels original, and this short series is unique to each viewer, as the plot is completely dependent on multiple choices made by viewers throughout each episode, such as selecting one of three possible responses for a character to say to another person. The choices diverge at various points during the episode, offering different storylines and endings and giving viewers much more autonomy.