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Insight 

Launching a new sVOD service in three different markets was no easy task, especially when each market was at vastly different stages of development.  

Insights gathered from Nielsen showed that the UK is the most established sVOD market. This made the penetration a bigger challenge because hayu’s competitors had much bigger budgets and established brands.  

Australia’s experience with sVOD was more limited compared to UK, with Netflix having launched in 2015. At the time of launch, according to TGI there were 13 million people within the target audience in UK, 1.15 million in AU and 590,000 in Ireland.  

For the key target audience of women aged 18-34 interested in reality-TV, showbiz and celebs, social channels were identified early on as a key element for the media mix (with Facebook being at the top priority with an addressable base on 78%). On Facebook, it could identify 11 million targetable users for UK, 3.5 million for AU and 600,000 for Ireland, meaning that the core target audience could be found thanks to interest targeting and, later, lookalikes and custom audiences based on conversion data.  

Entering the growing industry of sVOD also meant having to face established competitors with much bigger budgets in each market e.g. Netflix across all three countries and other more local offerings e.g. Amazon Prime in the UK and Presto in Australia.  

Despite the big existing names, hayu’s strong proposition challenged them with a much more affordable monthly price compared (£3.99 pm with no contract + local markets equivalent pricing). 

Strategy 

Starting with zero CRM data, 0% awareness and limited trackability due to product development posed quite a challenge. To achieve the often-contradictory objective of low CPA and high brand awareness, MediaCom needed to develop a balanced brand strategy that mixed offline and digital channels to maximise awareness. 

It  developed a bottom-up execution with search and social channels being the base for acquisition, whilst using offline media for long-term awareness. This combination was ultimately aimed at making the social efforts more efficient and targeted.  

With the CPA KPI going from $40 to $24 in less than a year, it meant that the data collected and strategy had to evolve the data modelling month on month, as soon as it hit statistical significance. Starting off with broad targeting to identify sources of interest meant collecting a fantastic variety of hateful comments on social channels e.g. “I’d rather pull my eyes out of my skull.”  

However, that changed quickly as it moved on with more refined targeting: lookalikes of paid subscribers (not churned) in Q2, lookalikes of paid subscribers and remarketing to churned users in Q3, highly engaged paid subs (watched more than 50 shows in-app) in Q4 and highly engaged paid subs with a high lifetime value (segmented by viewership interests) in Q1 2017.  

The combination of data pairing (viewership data + relevant content + lookalikes of engaged subs + interest data) led to more sophisticated targeting solutions, ultimately leading to an audience that was very likely to subscribe. 

Execution 

The AB testing approach to social allowed MediaCom to be more efficient with budgets and creatives, identifying the best performing assets for promotion. Instead of setting a regular budget for each creative, it reviewed results freezing or up-weighting each creative based on subscription results.  

The ability to branch down to specific sub-tribes based on different shows led to executing both small, tactical campaigns alongside the more mainstream activities.  

In a few months, creative evolved from standard static link ads to videos with key channels being Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – the latter was a media first in its use of custom audiences on Snapchat that delivered results in line with Facebook performance.  

The agency quickly realised that short form video created by the in-house content team generated strong social engagement and a naturally good CPA. This was the start of its social video DR strategy that saw video budget shares increase from 35% to 80%, taking strong engaging content paired with ever increasing levels audience targeting, driven forward by the use of CRM data and fast and timely optimisations.  

Each month the best performing organic videos were chosen to move into a paid social content push against awareness or acquisition goals based on the organic awareness, sharing and acquisition results observed.   

This approach triggered a change in focus for the in-house content team. They pivoted from focussing their short form content creation to sit on the hayu platform/service, to re-focussing their output to become a powerful subscription-driving resource. 

Results 

Results for this campaign remain confidential at the client's request. 

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