on push notifications to target customer segment, versus 3% previously
Improve the quality of the customer experience to compete in an increasingly crowded industry
Drive ad revenue by increasing the amount of time viewers spend watching on-demand video
Become a data-driven, customer-centric business, using analytics to refine content, improve promotions and deliver personalisation
40% of customers now watch every episode of some programmes on STV Player, compared with 10% to 15% previously
26% conversion rate on push notifications to target customer segments, versus 3% previously
Provides overnight visibility into performance issues that formerly took 2 to 3 months to surface
Generates insights to enhance customer experiences, attracting and retaining viewers
Digital Analyst, STV
Television viewership is on the rise, with more quality programming and viewing options than ever. Audiences have high expectations of the content they watch and the platforms they use and media companies are all looking to outdo each other with compelling personalised experiences.
STV is no exception. For over 60 years, STV is the only commercial Scottish TV network dedicated to Scotland, reaching 3.5 million viewers every month. Content is a key differentiator for STV. With crowd-pleasers such as I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, long-running soap dramas Coronation Street and Emmerdale and stalwart programmes such as STV News at SIX, the station brings unique value to Scottish audiences.
As STV looks to increase viewership, the media company is keen on drawing new audiences into STV Player—an on-demand video platform that is the company’s biggest digital asset, generating hundreds of millions of ad impressions every year.
“Compared with our linear TV broadcasts, we have more control over programming on STV Player and earn higher margins on ad revenue,” says Gary Miller, Digital Analyst at STV. “We want to draw more people onto this channel by making the experience as compelling and personalised as possible.”
Aiming to serve high-quality programming to customers based on their interests and viewing histories, STV needs clear visibility into who viewers are and what they watch. Its existing analytics platform, comScore Digital Analytix, was being phased out, which gave the network an opportunity to find a more powerful analytics platform.
“We considered other analytics solutions, but following an evaluation, Adobe Analytics was deemed the best fit for us, providing rich insights to inform programming and promotion,” Gary says. “In addition to web page activity, we can monitor video engagement and player performance using Adobe Analytics for Video heartbeat tracking for a complete view of the customer experience.”
As STV looked to adopt Adobe Analytics, one of its key requirements was support. The goal was to configure analytics across 13 digital platforms, including the web, iOS and Android apps and connected TV players, including Fire and Roku.
“Adobe Customer Solutions filled the gap between our development teams and those of us who manage tags and report on the data,” says Gary. “‘The Adobe technical consultants supported us through the full migration process.””
STV kicked off the process by identifying target metrics and defining tags, handing the requirements to Adobe Customer Solutions to build the tags using Adobe Experience Platform Launch, test and audit the analytics set-up and design customised reports. The Adobe team also facilitated workshops with development, marketing and product teams, drawing up technical roadmaps for implementation.
The result is a comprehensive analytics platform that tracks customers wherever they interact with STV Player. With Adobe Analytics for Video heartbeat tracking, STV can track granular viewership metrics such as number of ads viewed, amount of content watched and places where viewers stop watching.
“Adobe Analytics essentially measures every aspect of the health of the viewer’s experience,” says Gary. “It’s how we deliver on what we call ‘quality of experience’.”
Digital Analyst, STV
With Analysis Workspace and Ad Hoc Analysis features, Adobe Analytics now provides a definitive set of page and video analytics for STV, so internal teams can make better programming and promotion decisions.
For STV, that means analysing data as customers register, browse content and watch programmes. Pulling Adobe Analytics data into a central database with integrated customer profiles, the company gains a powerful understanding of viewers and can target new audiences with relevant promotions.
“High-end dramas drive huge streaming volumes and attract younger audiences,” says Gary. “When we launched The Bay, we knew it would appeal to fans of the STV crime drama Broadchurch, so we cross referenced the database for relevant profiles and built targeted lists. The Bay is now the most-watched drama in the history of STV Player.”
Greater visibility into customer behaviour has transformed marketing campaigns. Instead of sending generic emails to 3.5 million customers, STV personalises communications based on what viewers have done in the past and what they are likely to do in the future.
“We had a big win this year creating custom targeted lists for I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! based on previous viewership,” Gary says. “Using push notifications, we saw phenomenal results, with a 26 per cent conversion rate of people clicking into the live stream—compared to perhaps 3 per cent without the campaign.”
Digital Analyst, STV
Quality of experience metrics within Adobe Analytics for Video provides newfound visibility into STV Player performance, including crash rates, error events and buffer times.
“With Adobe Analytics for Video, issues that may have taken two or three months to surface previously are now picked up overnight,” says Gary. “It’s all about delivering a platform that works the first time, every time, for every user.”
STV now has six big screens in its office displaying STV Player performance data fuelled by Adobe Analytics, including benchmarks and targets, creating more awareness of problems as they occur.
“In the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Adobe Analytics helped us to cut the crash rate in half on Android—improving viewers’ experiences as they watched the World Cup on their phones,” Gary says.
Using Adobe Analytics for a richer view of customer experiences, STV has taken several steps closer to realising its strategy to become a data-driven, customer-centric business.
STV gains a clearer view into the amount of time people watch video on STV Player, which translates directly to revenue. The company recently boosted this key metric by rolling out end-of-play recommendations on the Fire TV platform—queuing up the next episode and suggesting similar shows or live feeds.
Using data to create powerful experiences is working, with more people watching STV Player. “Over the past 12 months, the percentage of people watching all episodes of a programme through STV Player has grown from 10% to 40% for some shows,” explains Gary. “People are choosing to stay with the platform, whether at home or on the train, even when they have other options.”