Interactive Video Tools

When Black Mirror did their interactive episode Bandersnatch on Netflix in 2018, everyone in broadcasting suddenly got very excited about interactive video. It wasn’t really the first time though and interactive video had been doing the rounds since in FMV games in the 90’s.

I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside teams that have done some of the first and finest forays into this new medium for TV, from interactive red-button experiences like Doctor Who – Attack of the Grask in 2005 and Casualty – First Day in 2016. Every experience used to be hand built, but now there are so many different tools available I thought I would do a run down of the most interesting off-the-shelf and SAAS software (and if you need help using them do please get in touch).

Storyformer – branching narrative or personalised/responsive video based on user decisions or other variables from the BBC – free for non-commercial projects with offline player (My first choice, but I’m biaised as I worked with the team who made it).

H5P – javascript library that can do interactive video and quizzes – very flexible if you have reasonable developer skills.

Klynt – desktop software (with a one-off price tag) for creating interactive videos for an opensource HTML5 player – place buttons where you want and embedd Youtube within your video.

Eko – good free production tool (costs if you are big company or else may include ads) for branching narrative using buttons but can also pull in other variables such as device type or location.

VideoAsk – a really interesting feedback/contribution gathering platform, where the questions and answers are delivered through video, but with options for including simple interactivity to drive user engagement.

Wirewax – clickable videos focused on ecommerce with products intelligently tracked as they move. You can also create simpler button based interactions but is a bit pricy!

Spott – another ecommerce focused tool allowing the user to click on highlighted items within a video to buy them. I’ve not seen it used for storytelling but it offers some nice features like interactive stills, automatically pulling in the assets from a feed, multilingual support and simple branching experiences.

Stornoway – straight forward branching narrative style video maker (will be cool if they get planned Youtube integration working).