How STARZ PLAY understands its users | Customer Story | Mixpanel
Customer Story

Streaming company STARZ PLAY used Mixpanel funnels to better understand its users—driving conversions by 700%.

  • 1.5M user sessions analyzed daily
  • 700% increase in subscription conversions
  • 1000X decrease in fraudulent accounts
  • Headquarters Meridian, CO
  • Plan SMB
  • Industry Media & Entertainment
  • Website
  • Reports featured
    • Insights
    • Funnels


STARZ PLAY is a subscription-based, on-demand streaming service with a library of more than 7,000 hours of entertainment. Subscribers can watch blockbuster films and original and popular TV programming anywhere by streaming the STARZ PLAY app on smart devices and online. What originated in the US, it’s the first Starz-branded service to be localized—expanding into 17 countries.



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.


“We’ve tried other analytics products and it would take at least a month to spot problems and then longer to solve them. But once we started using Mixpanel, we were able to identify bugs and fraudulent accounts in real-time and problem-solve those issues immediately.”

Tweet to your network
Vural Cifci, VP of Digital Marketing at STARZ PLAY Tweet to your network


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 every day, Mixpanel’s platform empowered anyone on their team to get insights quickly and answer complex questions with data.

Real-time attribution modeling

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.

With Insights and Funnels, STARZ PLAY discovered that adding a Facebook login drove 300% more signups than 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 not only gave STARZ PLAY insight for marketing campaigns, but how to better its product experience.

Preventing fraud

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 its content through its on-demand streaming portal. However, this often comes with a price. “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,” Vural 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 uses 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.”

Tweet to your network
Vural Cifci, VP of Digital Marketing at STARZ PLAY Tweet to your network


Shortly after implementing Mixpanel, STARZ PLAY was able to calculate savings in hours and dollars. Real-time analytics allowed the company to accelerate the speed at which departments across the company could launch campaigns and implement solutions. By analyzing 1.5M user sessions every day, STARZ PLAY increased subscriptions by 700% and decreased fraudulent accounts by 1000X.

Build Better Products

Powerful, self-serve product analytics to help you convert, engage, and retain more users.