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How Univision launched their new streaming service in three months using Twilio Segment’s customer data platform

Univision was able to launch a video streaming service in record time and build a robust data infrastructure by gathering behavior analytics around customers, digital content, and revenue.

The full power of Twilio Segment lies in the ability to quickly plug into many destinations and provide business value right away.

Jay Iyer, Vice President, Data Engineering

Challenge

Univision, the leading Spanish-language media company in the U.S., needed visibility into customer behavior to help drive subscriptions for their new streaming service. However, they lacked the infrastructure necessary to collect, unify, and take action on customer data. With a goal of launching ViX within three months and an upgraded version (ViX+) three months later, they needed to track millions of customer data touch points.   

Solution

With Twilio Segment, Univision uses a customer data platform (CDP) for behavior analytics and as a single source of truth for customer data. With Segment’s out-of-the-box integrations, Univision has scaled quickly, connecting to an incredible 194 sources and destinations in six months. With visibility into customer actions, Univision is able to analyze data and create targeted audiences for marketing and advertising campaigns.


Univision, the leading Spanish-language media company in the U.S., entertains and informs U.S. Hispanics with news, sports and entertainment across broadcast and cable television, audio, and digital platforms. New business initiatives, including launching a video streaming service, pushed Univision to focus more heavily on customer data as part of its digital transformation.  

When evaluating Twilio Segment, a key criteria was the ease of connecting the platform to components in Univision’s tech stack. With hundreds of integrations in the Twilio Segment catalog, Univision is able to drive efficiency by powering the analytics and productivity tools with the data they need. 

Univision leverages vast amounts of customer data each day, sending the information to various automation programs including Braze, for mobile marketing initiatives, Kochava, to measure advertising performance across audiences and devices, and Vidor for content recommendations.

The importance of analytics and time-to-value

Achieving a quick time-to-value was critical for Univision, especially given the fast-approaching deadline for their streaming product launch. With Segment Connections, they immediately began collecting data from multiple sources and incorporating it into their data infrastructure. 

Univision is currently tracking over 400 million events per day. Being able to see the entire customer journey is what drives business value with Twilio Segment. For Univision, that value comes from getting the most from specific segments of data. 

To get a complete picture of their business they combine three data sets: 

  • Behavioral data > what a user does in the app, or on the streaming platform

  • Content data > the type of video content being delivered

  • Revenue data > information about subscriptions and advertising revenue

Having this combined data set allows Univision to see: 

  • What content users are consuming > series, movies, sports

  • The methods used to consume it > phone, tablet, computer, television

  • How the paid component works > revenue from subscriptions or advertising

Univision is able to collect user events from any platform and any part of their product from mobile, web, or server. This raw behavioral data lands in BigQuery, their data warehouse, where it’s cleaned, curated, and sent out for consumption to other teams within the company. 

Being able to make business decisions based on actual customer data is crucial for Univision’s success. From the perspective of their engineering teams, Twilio Segment is the ultimate data pipeline – a single platform that collects and manages analytics and other data.  

Power of connectivity with out-of-the-box integrations

Jay Iyer, Vice President of Data Engineering at Univision, was responsible for implementing the customer data platform to align with the launch of their new streaming service. 

With Twilio Segment, new software tools can be integrated in minutes rather than weeks, often requiring only a few lines of JavaScript code. This saved his team from having to build an in-house streaming platform; a project that would have required the expertise of eight full-time engineers. 

With a CDP in place, Univision can continue to scale their business by keeping up with increasing demand, having already collected a huge volume of data (56 TB) in six months. And with >99% up-time since launch and a KPI that includes 21 million monthly active users,Univision can keep up their impressive growth knowing that their customer data platform is ready to assist. 

With his previous experience building custom, scalable data collection systems, Jay knows companies don’t always have the luxury to invest in systems because they need to move fast. “The full power of Segment lies in the ability to quickly plug into many destinations and provide business value right away,” he said. 

Launching ViX with Twilio Segment as the data layer

ViX, their new Spanish-language streaming service, has 20,000 hours of content to watch on demand, but Univision needs to know what viewers are watching to provide the best experience. 

By using Segment Connections to collect real-time data and Twilio Engage to unify it and create unified customer profiles, Univision is able to provide personalized program recommendations to increase viewership and drive more demand.

Personalized program recommendations on the ViX streaming platform

Tracking viewing habits and search histories enables Univision to identify and push the most relevant content matches. Further, the data allows them to send timely marketing messages for greater engagement that leads to increased streaming hours, which have increased MOM by 21%. 

In addition, Segment Protocols allows Univision access to a live stream of event data flowing from their apps to Segment’s API. This gives them confidence that their underlying data is accurate. Most companies detect issues after their team has used bad data to make decisions or trigger campaigns. With Segment Protocols, Univision can quickly take action on every invalid event with in-app reporting and daily email digests.

With Twilio Segment the ViX launch was seamless. Full data collection was in place and driving analytics on Day 1. Actually, the data began coming in during beta testing prior to full launch. “You can’t make good decisions without access to the right data, and it’s important to have that, which Twilio Segment was able to provide,” Jay stated.

Sources and Destinations for ViX Streaming Service using Twilio Segment

Reverse engineering KPIs using a holistic view of data

Univision has a unique approach to measuring KPIs. In addition to the standard metrics of DAU/WAU/MAU and total viewing minutes, their data engineers use a holistic view of the data gathered from the CDP to identify KPIs that are most relevant to their business at any given time.

  • New Users - Growth Tracking

  • Returning Users - Retention Tracking

  • Average Minutes Watched by DAU - Engagement Tracking

With extensive careers in media, Univision’s leadership team knows the type of information they want access to in order to drive the business forward. The data engineers are able to retrieve it from the CDP and stitch various data sets together to provide them with exactly what they need. 

In essence, by working backwards and combining data sets that make the most sense for yet-to-be-determined KPIs, data engineers can figure out which dashboards to build for greater visibility into customer behavior. Jay admits it’s an iterative process; sometimes they need to pull in more data sources to fill in some of the dashboards. But in the end, the insights pay off.

For example, when Univision launched ViX+, they were able to quickly add the SVOD growth and engagement metrics to their existing AVOD dashboard because they had created the user-level flags in their data collection specification ahead of time to help make that distinction. 

Twilio Segment keeps up with Univision’s rapid growth

Having a stable data collection platform in place allows the data engineering team to focus on other parts of the business. What’s impressive to Jay is that Twilio Segment has been able to keep up with Univision’s rapidly increasing traffic which has gone from 50 million to 250 million to 400 million records a day. 

“Twilio Segment is helping us keep up with our unprecedented growth of 21 million monthly average users. So regardless of scale, Segment provides you the tools and platform to move quickly and efficiently. We couldn’t have done this any other way,” Jay concluded.


Interested in hearing more about how Segment can help you?

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Results

13%

MOM increase In AVOD MAUs


8 engineers

would have been needed to build a data platform without a CDP


3 months

to launch new streaming service

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