The goals

STARZ PLAY is a subscription-based and on-demand service with more than 7,000 hours of the best blockbuster movies, TV series, and kids entertainment. With video content in full HD, a STARZ PLAY user can stream anywhere, anytime, across mobile and desktop.

In an age where video content is digital and available on all types of devices, STARZ PLAY needs cross-platform product analytics to understand the millions of viewers who access its premier content every single day.

To keep pace in a crowded market of on-demand streaming content, STARZ PLAY looked to the data to optimize conversion funnels, leading users from a free trial into paying customers. In addition, the product and digital marketing teams needed these real-time user insights in order to prevent fraud and detect any issues in the signup process.

Broadcasting across 19 countries and working with 11 telecommunication operators, STARZ PLAY looked to Mixpanel to provide them with enterprise-class product analytics service and support.

“With Mixpanel, it doesn’t take us a month to spot and solve a problem. If we see a bug or a fraudulent user we can resolve that issue right away, saving us time and thousands of dollars a month.” -Vural Cifci, Vice President of Digital Marketing, STARZ PLAY

The solution

Vural Cifci, STARZ PLAY’s Vice President of Digital Marketing, initially used Google Analytics, but quickly the solution didn’t meet their product analytics needs.

“With Google Analytics we had limited visibility into our users. The sessions weren’t providing us with the level of detail we needed. Plus, it was only updating twice or three times a day, and that wasn’t enough for us. By the time we got the conversion and churn reports, the numbers didn’t add up,” he says.

STARZ PLAY looked to Mixpanel to ingest large volumes of data. With 1.3 to 1.5 million sessions sent from STARZ PLAY everyday, Mixpanel’s platform empowered anyone on their team to get insights quickly, and still, answer complex questions with data.

"With Mixpanel, it doesn't take us a month to spot and solve a problem. Now, we do it right away."

The results

Attributing leads within seconds

Due to the fast pace of markets, products, and subscription models in the entertainment business, STARZ PLAY prioritized real-time insights when looking for its product analytics tool. Speed was a must-have in order to make the right decisions and key for the digital marketing team when clarifying channel attribution.

In the office, Marketing has a big screen television with multiple Mixpanel reports rotating on the screen,” says the company’s VP of Digital Marketing. “Segmentation delineates how all purchases are broken down by payment method, country, operating system, device type, device platform, creative type and traffic source, giving us a granular look into our many different channels.”

With Segmentation and Funnels, STARZ PLAY discovered a Facebook login drove 300% more signups than ever before. And when users could sign in with a phone number, there was a 400% increase in conversions, totaling in 700% increase in total sign ups.

Having a single source of truth into how users behaved within web and mobile platforms gave STARZ PLAY not only insight for marketing campaigns, but how to better its product experience.

Preventing fraud, saving 8x in marketing spend

Real-time data arms STARZ PLAY with the necessary intel to also uphold the integrity of the product and provide insight into exactly how users behave as soon as they click. Nothing illustrates the benefit of Mixpanel more than in how it protects STARZ PLAY from vulnerabilities and fraudulent transactions.

For new users, STARZ PLAY gives a free one-month trial of their content through their on-demand streaming portal. However, this often comes with a price.

“Like many platforms with high quality content behind a paywall, we have users who try to game our website with fake accounts in order to get free access,” says Vural.

“With Mixpanel, we’re now at the point where we can detect fraudulent activity immediately, confirm the user accounts on the backend, and then deactivate those users,” he continues. “We’re able to prevent thousands of fraudulent users from accessing our content, saving more than 8x that in marketing spend.”

Answering complex questions with JQL

Javascript Query Language helps STARZ PLAY answer more complex questions for its executive team. JQL utilizes the powerful backend of Mixpanel to give any team the ability to parse all of its data, and display analysis in a seamless UI with numbers that are easily digestible and shareable across the company.

“As a platform, Mixpanel has the bandwidth to take on the volume of traffic STARZ PLAY gets every day. The fact that Mixpanel can not only handle all the traffic we have but also allow us to select all the different properties that we find relevant to specific events, and do it in real time, is crucial for us,” Vural says.

“Getting those types of complex answers quickly is super valuable when our management team asks a question or wants to investigate a specific pattern. With JQL, it’s very easy to answer those questions.”

What's next

Media and entertainment is one of the most competitive industries when it comes to delivering the best content through the most seamless technology platforms. As customers of STARZ PLAY become users of their web and mobile platforms, digital marketing, product and beyond need instant analytics in order to better the viewing experience, and keep their fans coming back again and again.