Canal Digital, a leading pay-TV operator in the Nordics, serves customized content to paid subscribers using Mixpanel.

All in all, I would say that Mixpanel has been one of the most valuable partners we’ve had in order to understand how our products are being used. It has taken us from being ‘data novices’ to becoming increasingly more data-driven and advanced.

Jon Espen Nergård, Chief Product & Data Officer, Canal Digital
Overview
Goals
  • Drive paid subscription growth and usage of service through content personalization
  • Understand how to best deliver content to viewers watching TV after its aired based on platform and time of day
  • Optimize content offering
Approach
  • Combined Mixpanel insights with metadata in Google BigQuery through Mixpanel’s data warehouse export feature
  • Used Mixpanel analytics to understand user behavior in product development processes
  • Built a deep learning recommendation engine that correlates content and delivers custom recommendations
Results
  • More personalized viewing experience
  • Significantly increased streaming in TV Everywhere apps 
  • Streamlined and improved product development to target actual customer needs based on their behavior
Company

Canal Digital is a leading pay-TV operator in the Nordics, serving close to 800,000 households in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The service portfolio comprises more than 130 linear TV channels and a TV Everywhere service with Live TV and a vast library of TV series and movies on-demand.

As the media industry has evolved away from live television towards prerecorded viewing and mobile, so too has Canal Digital. They launched their TV Everywhere service in 2014, and it quickly dominated the App Store charts in Norway and Sweden. Jon Espen Nergård, Chief Product & Data Officer  at Canal Digital, has been with Canal Digital throughout their evolution. To learn about the new ways in which viewers were engaging with their content, Jon Espen looked to Mixpanel. 

Why Canal Digital chose Mixpanel

When looking for an analytics provider, Jon Espen considered several other solutions. But as he says, “after meeting the team at Mixpanel, I understood that it could be the sole solution we needed. Very few tools are as flexible as Mixpanel and let you measure the way that makes the most sense for your business.” 

“Before Mixpanel, we didn’t have the insights we needed to personalize our content recommendations,” Jon Espen continued. “Just a few years later, we have a robust personalization engine in place, with real-time insights across our audience segments. On top of that, out of all the partners and vendors I’ve worked with, Mixpanel has one of the best support teams ever. We’ve never waited more than two hours to get an answer, and they are always polite and helpful and always look to guide us in a solution.” 

Results
Learning how to optimize time-shifted viewing

Canal Digital was originally a satellite TV operator, but with the advent of DVR and time-shifted viewing, or on-demand viewing, increasing in popularity, they started recording 80% of what airs across their network to replay to subscribers at a later time. To optimize their time-shifted offering, they export Mixpanel viewing behavior into Google BigQuery using Mixpanel’s data warehouse export feature. This allows them to combine user behavior with program guide metadata. With all this insight, they build audience segments and seamlessly import them back into Mixpanel as cohorts for further analysis, messaging and engagement. 

“Thanks to these insights, we know what to display on mobile versus desktop,” said Jon Espen. “We can see when viewers are using their mobile phone to help calm their kids down in the morning before school, or watching the news with their breakfast. As a result, we can optimize content recommendations based on the time of day and our subscriber’s day-to-day viewing needs.”

Personalizing content recommendations based on behavior and platform

“Mixpanel has made it possible to deliver more personalized content recommendations,” said Jon Espen. Canal Digital built a deep learning recommendation engine that correlates content. When Mixpanel sends it insights on what shows subscribers like and don’t like, it delivers content back to viewers based on their preferences. 

Additionally, the Marketing team sends customized content recommendations through Mixpanel’s push notifications to either custom segments imported from Google BigQuery or Mixpanel cohorts. If you have watched a lot of skiing competitions, for example, Canal Digital will let you know if another one is coming up. “We are slowly transforming into fully automated messaging. This personalization has drastically helped us increase conversion,” said Jon Espen. 

What’s next?

Jon Espen and his team at Canal Digital are excited to use analytics across more aspects of their business. In the near future, Mixpanel will be helping their Product team to optimize their paid advertising strategy by fueling their real-time TV advertisements, known as dynamic ad insertions.