How JustWatch uses Snowplow data to build a differentiated service for advertising movies and drive spectacular growth


This blog post is about how JustWatch has been using Snowplow to build a highly effective and differentiated advertising technology business and drive spectacular business growth. You can download this story in pdf here.

“Snowplow provides rich, granular data that enabled us to build a sophisticated audience intelligence and double the efficiency of trailer advertising campaigns for our clients compared to the industry average” Dominik Raute, Co-Founder & CTO, JustWatch

Dominik Raute, Co-Founder & CTO, JustWatch

JustWatch: a data-driven company

JustWatch is a new kind of AdTech company that enables movie studios and Video on Demand providers to advertise their movies to people who want to watch it: creating advertising that is effective for the advertiser and enjoyable for the consumer. They use data to build highly targeted, actionable segments that advertisers can reach, predominantly on YouTube and Facebook. In addition, they provide the world’s largest and most accurate streaming search engine that enables users to find out where to watch their favorite movies and TV shows online and in cinemas.

How JustWatch used Snowplow to take control of their data

Business challenge

Data is at the heart of both JustWatch’s propositions for movie watchers and movie studios. When users engage with JustWatch’s streaming search engine, JustWatch needs to serve them content that they are interested in: and that depends on JustWatch having a good understanding of what it is those users are interested in. Similarly, when targeting trailers for new movies on behalf of studios, JustWatch needs to ensure that it is showing those trailers to the people who are most likely to be interested in the film: again based on their understanding of those user’s taste in films. And that understanding is built on data.

Taking control of the data with Snowplow

With Snowplow, JustWatch has complete control over what data it wants to record. JustWatch captures event-level interactions that describe what video content their users search for, like, add to their WatchList, buy and watch, both at home and in the cinema. JustWatch surveys their users about their movie tastes and records the results using Snowplow, enabling JustWatch to enrich users’ profiles with qualitative as well as quantitative data. This data set provides the bed rock for the intelligence that powers JustWatch’s business. Because the data is rich and highly structured, JustWatch has maximum analytical flexibility to do whatever it wants with the data.

Snowplow gives JustWatch complete ownership of their data. This is a unique asset that the JustWatch team can develop over time.

Having control of their data gave the JustWatch team the flexibility to build their own segmentation technology on top of the data to deliver their cutting-edge service.

“Snowplow is a data playground. Having access to the source events makes it really easy to query it and quickly test hypotheses”, Sixtine Vervial, Data Analyst, JustWatch

Using Snowplow data to drive spectacular business growth

Getting up and running fast was important for JustWatch. They needed to prove their business model in a very short time period, and the business model depends on their data. JustWatch set up the whole Snowplow platform in less than three weeks. A month later they ran their first campaign. With their data collection sorted so quickly, they could focus their considerable expertise in using that data to:

  1. Build intelligence on that data
  2. Use that intelligence to deliver a unique, compelling service for studios and consumers
  3. Grow their business around that unique service

Building intelligence on the data

From the underlying data, the JustWatch team applied a multi-layered analytic approach to first develop a sophisticated user understanding and then use that understanding to build actionable audience segments for targeting.

Use that intelligence to deliver a unique, compelling service for advertisers and consumers

JustWatch has a team of experienced engineers, scientists and analysts who built a highly-differentiated service on top of their data and insight:

“Having access to the event-level data with Snowplow enables us to not only finely segment users, but also provide users with highly personalized adverts and experience” Sixtine Vervial, Data Analyst, JustWatch

Spectacular business growth

JustWatch has grown very quickly since its launch, a little over 2 years ago in February 2015. Here are some of the remarkable milestones JustWatch has achieved:

Learn more about JustWatch

JustWatch’s Dominik Raute (CTO) and Christoph Hoyer (CMO) presented at the Snowplow Berlin Meetup in November 2016. You can view the presentation here.

To find out more about JustWatch and its company culture, read the blog post by David Croyé, founder and CEO at JustWatch.

If you would like to explore how Snowplow can enable you to take control of your data, and what that can make possible, visit our product page, request a demo or get in touch.

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