How JustWatch delivers highly personalized content and adverts with Snowplow

Using granular, event-level data created with Snowplow, JustWatch is driving spectacular growth.


JustWatch is a new kind of AdTech company that enables movie studios and Video on Demand providers to advertise their movies to the right audiences. This highly-personalized advertising is effective for the advertiser and enjoyable for the consumer. 

JustWatch uses 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.


Data is at the heart of JustWatch’s propositions for both movie watchers and movie studios. When users engage with the streaming search engine, JustWatch needs to serve them content that they are interested in. Similarly, when targeting trailers for new movies on behalf of studios, JustWatch needs to ensure the trailers are shown to the people most likely to be interested in the film. All this is driven by behavioral data.


JustWatch is using Snowplow to drive spectacular growth. Getting up and running fast was important—as they needed to prove their data-driven business model in a very short time period. They set up the whole Snowplow platform in less than three weeks, and ran their first campaign a month later. 

With data collection sorted so quickly, they then focused their considerable expertise in using data to achieve three key goals.

1. Building intelligence on the data 

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

  • Single customer view. JustWatch uses Snowplow to track users across platforms and channels including web, mobile, advertising and affiliate platforms. Snowplow enforces a clean separation between data collection and data modeling, while enabling JustWatch to develop their own rules and logic for stitching user journeys across those channels to deliver a single customer view. That view is the basis for all the user-level intelligence they have developed. 
  • Machine learning and clustering algorithms to match users with content.  To build primary user segments, JustWatch makes extensive use of clustering algorithms run on data created with Snowplow. Because Snowplow data is incredibly rich and granular, it is ideally suited to processing using machine learning and clustering algorithms. 
  • Intuition-led and data-led insight. The JustWatch team are experts in their field, and intuitively know what films will appeal to different audience segments. They can test these intuitions with the data by comparing engagement rates with trailers by segment. In addition, data analysts actively comb through the data to spot patterns—including surprising interest from segments they wouldn’t have expected. Again, these patterns can be rigorously validated before being used to match an audience segment with content.

2. Using intelligence to deliver a unique, compelling service for studios and consumers 

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

  • Advertisers can combine primary segments into highly targeted segments. The Audience Builder enables studios to define audiences to target, and can intersect various user segments (e.g. users who watched a comedy film on Netflix in July). This gives advertisers an unprecedented level of control and precision when defining their target audience. 
  • Advertisers can reach users across channels including YouTube, Facebook, web, real-time bidding platforms and push notifications. JustWatch built their own anonymous identity management service on top of their Snowplow data, enabling them to not only successfully identify users across channels, but target and interact with specific users across any channel. 
  • Very high engagement levels. JustWatch campaigns are highly engaging and have more than twice the view time and half the price (per trailer watched) than the industry benchmark, and are optimized based on cinema/purchase intent (Source: Google/YouTube, Benchmarks of Trailer Advertising campaigns Q4 2016, Germany).
  • Smarter way to buy audiences. Advertisers on Google, YouTube and Facebook pay per view, but if viewers like their trailers more, they pay less per view and reach more people with the same (or smaller) budget. With JustWatch, advertising customers can achieve a much higher return on ad spend—saving money while reaching more engaged audiences. 
  • A consultative movie marketing partner. Before launching campaigns on behalf of studios, JustWatch works with them to test different trailers with the relevant audience segments. This helps the studios understand what trailers will perform best with what type of audience. JustWatch’s considerable insights into the minds of movie watchers makes them a valued partner to a growing number of studios around the world. 

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” 


3. Grow their business around a unique service

JustWatch has grown very quickly since its launch in February 2015. Here are some of the remarkable milestones they have achieved with help from data created with Snowplow: 

  • Millions of new users and app downloads every month 
  • Over 50 million anonymized profiles of movie fans worldwide 
  • Doubled efficiency of trailer advertising campaigns for their clients 
  • Working with studios like Sony, Paramount and Fox from the US to Europe to Asia 


Using data created with Snowplow, JustWatch has built richly intelligent user profiles for more than 50 million movie fans. Armed with this intelligence, they have optimized trailer delivery and increased watch time, which in turn increased return on ad spend for movie studios. 

Plus, by building their own anonymous identity management service on top of the data created with Snowplow, JustWatch has not only been able to identify users across channels, but target and interact with specific users across any channel.

Snowplow’s rich, granular data enabled us to build sophisticated audience intelligence and double the efficiency of our clients’ trailer advertising campaigns.” 


How you can get started with Snowplow

To learn more about how Snowplow can empower your organization with behavioral data creation, book in a chat with our team today. Alternatively, Try Snowplow is our free, easy-to-use version of our technology, which allows you to create your own behavioral data in under 30 mins.

Unlock the value of your behavioral data with customer data infrastructure for AI, advanced analytics, and personalized experiences

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