With over 20 million subscribers worldwide, CANAL+ Group is a leading media company and pay-TV operator.

But when online streaming upended the media industry, Canal+—like many media businesses—found it had to reinvent itself, along with its products and way of building them.

“We had a very classic way of doing business,” said Chief Product Officer Damien Delautier, “but now we’ve tried to change all of that.”

A new approach to building product

One of the first things Damien looks for in any product organization is the data. At Canal+, he needed an in-depth understanding of user behavior in its popular TV application, myCANAL, as a baseline for how they could improve. The challenge was that the company’s teams didn’t trust the data they were getting from their current analytics platform.

“We knew we needed to work differently, but we lacked the tools to do it. If we don’t have good data and can’t run tests, it leaves us guessing against other guesses,” said Damien.

As a start, he introduced a new approach to building digital products. He explained retention and engagement in depth, and how you can use these metrics to make strategic decisions around how to build your product. To facilitate this new way of working and empower his teams to use data, he turned to Amplitude.

Retention is the way to success

“Product success is measured by user retention,” Damien told his teams. “Retention is the difference between top apps and failing apps.”

They began measuring the retention of their different user groups. In Amplitude, they were able to clearly see that users who watched both live and on-demand content were power users, with the highest retention. By contrast, users who only watched live or only on-demand had lower retention rates. “With these kinds of insights, we can drive product changes,” says Damien.

3x increase in conversion with Amplitude

Within a few months of implementing Amplitude, Canal+ drove important changes in the product, validated by real data. For example, the company changed its Live TV button to a Watch button and immediately saw a boost in usage.

“We now have the data to inform our decisions and help us learn. With Amplitude, we have increased the conversion rate in the app by 3x.”
Damien Delautier, Chief Product Officer

Across the organization, Canal+ teams have seen a difference in what they’ve been able to accomplish with their product. They’ve started working with prototypes, quickly testing them with users. They’ve implemented cross-functional squads organized around the customer lifecycle—acquisition, engagement, and monetization. Each team includes UX, Engineering, and Product working together and empowered to make their own decisions. As Damien explained: “The big evolutions in the product have now been created by everyone, based on data and prototypes. It’s an amazing change.” With all the improvements, the new myCanal app has greatly increased organic traffic.

What’s next

Now that Canal+ has proven the value of Amplitude, the company will also implement the platform on the Canal+ set top boxes in an ongoing effort to improve the experience for that core set of users. Damien continues to drive adoption of Amplitude and build champions in teams across the organization. Data has become a discussion point for everyone at the company, helping them set a north star that joins teams across the organization to a common mission.

“I sold the philosophy internally for a new way to do product,” Damien reflected. “Although having a platform wasn’t the original focus, we quickly realized there is only one tool that works for this, and it’s Amplitude.”