Mar 6, 2017

Netflix lets you literally choose your own adventure

Elise Amendola / AP

With the click of your remote, Netflix is experimenting with ways to allow users to decide how their stories could unfold.

Per The Daily Mail, the tech giant is testing technologies that would create an interactive format for dramas that stream on the platform. Actors and producers will create multiple endings — some simple and linear, some complex and and cyclical — that would allow users to engage with stories in a more custom, intimate way. With more consumption data on user preferences, Netflix is hoping to better target recommendations and content to match users' biases and habits, similar to Facebook's strategy online.

Timeline: In the short-term, customizing user preferences will help Netflix continue to migrate dwindling cable TV subscribers to streaming services — most of whom watch Netflix on a TV box-top set rather than on mobile. In the long term, customization techniques will help pull users to their platform away from other streaming services, like YouTube, which offers content in nearly twice as many languages, and Amazon, which has ramped up content efforts in hopes of rivaling Netflix with its larger Prime member base.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.