Malaysia-based iflix was founded on an audacious promise: to bring TV shows, movies, and live events to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. Today, it’s the world’s leading online entertainment service for emerging markets in South-East Asia.
Despite its popularity, iflix faced a nagging question: how could it keep viewers coming back, and maintain it’s high-growth velocity. The company turned to Amplitude for help. The result? Using Amplitude Engage, iflix created highly targeted campaigns that grew conversion-to-view rates and ad revenue by 4x.
Better segmentation = better engagement
Previously, iflix only had access to its users’ demographics, not their behavior. With minimal user data, iflix was constrained when it came to personalizing campaigns. Campaign customization, such as for country-specific onboarding and particular programs such as Malaysian football campaigns, was limited to little more than user language preference. As a result of an unpersonalized product experience, only a small portion of users returned to the app.
Amplitude and Amplitude Engage empowered iflix to identify its key user segments based on their respective behaviors and needs. This knowledge enabled iflix to expand from one onboarding campaign to seven targeted onboarding campaigns. The company now creates multiple behavioral cohorts that sync to the multichannel engagement platform Leanplum every hour to target new users when they are most likely to engage with the app.
Iflix also uses Amplitude Engage to build Leanplum-synced cohorts specifically for fans of Malaysian football (the company’s largest viewership), allowing the company to reach out to these users in a more personalized way.
“Better segmentation leads to better engagement. With Amplitude Engage, iflix has improved campaign conversion-to-view rates and increased ad revenue four-fold by leveraging behavioural segmentation to target users. Amplitude Engage has empowered us to execute highly targeted experiences and tune campaigns to drive impact” —Emmanuel Frenehard, iflix’s CTO
John Mathews, iflix’s Head of Engineering, agrees with Frenehard, calling Amplitude Engage “invaluable” to the company’s quest to understand and personalize its messages for users.
Testing a hypothesis for an improved user experience
For any new business looking to grow, first-time user experience is critical. What can make or break that experience is how quickly users get to their “aha moment”—the magical moment when users realize the product’s value. For iflix, that means making it as easy as possible for users to access and watch relevant content. That’s why the company is always working on ways to streamline this process.
“Amplitude has allowed us to focus on what is right, what our users are actually telling us, instead of what we feel are the features to build,”—John Mathews, iflix’s Head of Engineering
In particular, iflix used Amplitude’s Retention, Pathfinder, and Personas charts to learn more about why some users abandon the app after their initial foray. The sticking point: a subscription sign-up step to access all of the app’s premium content.
“For a lot of people that sign-up step is just too high a barrier to go through before you are really sold on the benefits of the platform,” says Craig Drayton, Senior Product Owner at iflix. Iflix set out to test a hypothesis: if iflix gave new users free access to all content for their first 24-hours, would it lead to more video views? The results were clear: After deploying the change, the company immediately saw an 11% increase in both new user video views and ad revenue in Amplitude’s AB Test View.
“It’s the depth of that data that sets Amplitude apart from competitors. What blew my mind with Amplitude was that I could answer any questions I had, in different ways, and dig down into the event streams to see what individual users were up to. It’s been like a Swiss army knife of analytics tools.”—Craig Drayton, iflix’s Senior Product Owner
Now that iflix is getting users to their aha moment quicker, the company is doubling down on driving long-term retention, with multiple teams collaborating on this effort. While Growth and Marketing teams are using Amplitude Engage to suggest relevant and personalized content, the Product Development team works on making it easier for users to find and watch what they want, when they want it.
Smarter AB testing
iflix also employs Amplitude Funnels to see how users convert to watching content. One key step in this process is the video title page, which offers details about the videos. The iflix team set out to test two new experiences against their legacy version to drive more video views.
“Amplitude has been a game changer for iflix and how we use analytics to make decisions. With A/B tests, it used to take weeks, if not months, to get sufficient information. With Amplitude, we get the data we need almost instantly.”—John Mathews, iflix’s Head of Engineeering
The first variant of iflix’s A/B test embedded a video player to give viewers the option of watching a short trailer. The second variant was an autoplay experience. Using Amplitude’s Cohorts, Funnels, and Segmentation, the iflix team was able to see how the variants shaped user behavior. What they found was the group that had a player embedded into the title page had a 3.5x higher conversion-to-play rate.
Surprised to see that the autoplay underperformed, the team investigated further. “Contrary to what we expected, we had lower engagement, and retention, beyond day one,” Craig says. “By drilling down further into what was going on with these users, we saw that the new auto-play experience actually added a lot of time to what it was taking them to get to the content that they wanted to play. So while we thought we were adding a lot of convenience, we were actually making it harder for the users to tap into value.”
Real-time insights for quick responses
Consistent, real-time learning has completely changed the game for iflix, says Tom Peterson, iflix’s Global head of Product. Tom adds that he loves when data proves his team wrong. “With Amplitude, we’re able to put something out there, run a test, and get the results back from millions and millions of people—fast,” says Tom. “And if it’s proven that some of our assumptions are wrong, we can change, we can pivot, we can learn from that.”
That’s a radical departure from the past, Tom says, when the product and marketing teams often had to wait two or three weeks for the data they requested. The delayed access to data stymied the team from coming up with innovative, data-informed solutions to boost engagement and retention. Now anyone at the company from a designer to the CTO can access the data within seconds, says Tom. “That’s incredibly powerful,” he shares. “It’s completely transformed us as a product team and as a business.”
“My favorite feature within Amplitude is Notebooks. Notebooks are a really great way to create a narrative around data. There’s so much work happening all the time that it’s sometimes hard to remember the full context of the data you’re looking at. Notebooks lets you draw connections to other data points throughout the business to tell a holistic story you can share with your team.” —Thomas Peterson, iflix’s Global Head of Product
For example, Tom notes, after adopting Amplitude, iflix went from running one A/B test to 15. With more data at their fingertips, iflix is now always looking at what the data says. The result? Faster decision velocity and higher decision quality.
Kristin Chand, iflix’s Product Director, echoes that sentiment, noting, “Amplitude has really brought high-level conversations to the table. Before, we never had the data to back up those sorts of debates.”
“With the Amplitude Customer Success Team, it’s not just about how to use the Platform, but really understanding the business that you’re in and working out the strategy with you. I really enjoyed the North Star Framework they had and it was a very valuable workshop for us.”- Kristin Chand, iflix’s Product Director