What is Streamberry? Netflix’s new project [Explained]

You’ve seen links for “Streamberry” flying around the web, but you’ve got no clue what it’s all about. It looks like a Netflix knockoff, but you can’t be sure, because the Streamberry website – https://youareawful.com – seems more like a joke than anything else.

So what gives? What is Streamberry and why should you care (or should you)?

Streamberry is a fictional streaming service featured in Season 6, Episode 1 of Netflix’ hit television show: Black Mirror. Only now, Netflix is blurring the line between fantasy and reality by bringing Streamberry to life as a real thing.

Streamberry on Black Mirror

In the first episode of Season 6 of “Black Mirror,” titled “Joan Is Awful,” we follow a tech company employee named Joan, played by Annie Murphy. Things take a weird turn when she discovers her life is being mirrored on a Streamberry TV show. The catch? When users sign up for Streamberry, they unknowingly give away their digital identity, which the service then uses to closely observe them through their own devices.

The CEO of Streamberry, Mona Javadi (played by Leila Farzad), shares with a reporter that they are using “an infinite content creator” to produce these shows. This unique system can create entire virtual universes using an algorithm and user monitoring. Their goal is to deliver individualized content for each of their 800 million users, the content being crafted by their system as needed, making it as relatable as possible.

It all boils down to this: since Streamberry users have given the company universal rights to their likeness, they become infinite content creators. The company can leverage the power of AI to create endless entertainment with the users as the characters.

Signing up for Streamberry

When you first get to the site, you’ll see an intro is intentionally reminiscent of Netflix branding, enticing the visitor to “Join the Streamberry Family”. A little blurb on the bottom explains that backgrounds are removed by photoroom.

You’re then asked to submit your first name. Since we’re not trying to become the victim of a Season 7 surprise ending to Black Mirror, we decided to invent a fictional character for Streamberry.

You’re then asked to upload a photo that they claim could end up on a billboard!

You’re then able to adjust your picture (move left/right/up/down, zoom in/out) and required to check off two very important little boxes before continuing:
  1. I consent to Netflix’s use of my image for its marketing campaign
  2. I have read and agreed to the Terms of Service and Privacy Statement

I took ChatGPT for a spin, uploading the PDF and asking it to warn me about any problematic issues. It seems that most everything about the Streamberry TOS is pretty standard, but you should be wary that you’re granting Netflix the right to use your likeness (image, voice, etc…) which means that theoretically, they COULD use your image to create an entire show about you. It may seem like it’s without your consent, but this is the part where you consent.

I used Midjourney to create a character that I named Gemini and I’m hoping I see them on a billboard some day soon.

After uploading an image and agreeing to the terms, you’re introduced to your brand new streaming TV show, based on you! In my case, I’m happy to introduce you to “Gemini is Awful”!

You’re also given the chance to download a more professional promo image of your show as seen below:

What happens next?

That’s what we’re all wondering…

Should you sign up for Streamberry?

If you haven’t watched “Black Mirror”, I’d suggest watching it before signing up for Streamberry, so that you understand what you’re getting into.

Black Mirror is absolutely crazy, featuring a different “alternate reality” in each episode where humans have gone haywire, using technology in disastrous ways. Given our collision course with AI, many of the Black Mirror episodes are starting to feel more and more like our actual reality if humans don’t get control of the wheel.

All things considered, Streamberry *seems* quite innocent. It’s probably just a playful way to promote the show and the series. However, it’s very realistically possible that something darker is lurking beneath the surface, and Netflix could be using this as an opportunity to introduce the concept of using your personal likeness as an “infinite content creator”.

Proceed at your own risk! Or do what I did: have some fun, make a playful fictional character, and see if they pique Netflix’ interest.

When is the Streamberry release date?

There is no expectation that Streamberry will actually release episodes, but if they do, we’re guessing it’ll come as a Bandersnatch style “Choose Your Own Adventure” in Black Mirror, Season 7, Episode 1.

There’s no denying that AI will have a huge impact on content creation in the entertainment industry… Streamberry is likely Netflix’ first foray into the field, giving themselves room to test the creative waters without having to commit to an actual idea. Right?

Because it’s all a joke… until shit gets real.