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UP Faith & Family: targeting lookalike groups with the right content

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It is tough creating a unified view of a DTC business when multiple distribution partners are involved. However, UP Faith & Family, a streaming service powered by UP Entertainment, has found a way and is using it to target lookalike groups in social media with content they’re sure to love.

UPtv on pay TV

UPtv is a family-oriented content provider delivering movies and TV shows with an uplifting message that families can watch together. The service provides a raft of favorite shows, including Home Improvement, The Librarians, and Fresh off the Boat. There are also original titles such as Bringing Up Bates and Design Twins. The UPtv channel is available in nearly 70 million pay TV homes through many distributors including DirecTV, Dish, Charter, Altice, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T U-verse.

Launching DTC

In 2017, the company re-launched its direct-to-consumer (DTC) service, UP Faith& Family (formerly gMovies). For $5.99 a month or $53.99 for an annual subscription, subscribers can access some of the popular shows available on UPtv as well as dramas, uplifting reality, kid’s favorites, family comedies, music, and documentaries.

UP Faith & Family can be accessed through all the common connected TV and mobile devices. Additionally, Xfinity TV, Dish, and Cox customers can add UP Faith & Family to their existing subscription and access the content via their set-top box. UP Faith &Family is also available on Amazon Channels and soon via the Roku Channel.

Ensuring UP Faith & Family is available everywhere a potential customer may be is the best way for the service to grow its subscriber base.

Building a unified service performance picture

While this advanced distribution strategy helps maximize the reach of UP Faith & Family, it carries with it a problem. The service’s content is organized and presented differently across each platform and distribution partner leading to different viewing habits across outlets. Under such circumstances, it is tough to build a unified view of how the service is performing. Figuring out which content is popular and how viewers are engaging with the content and service is a major headache.

UP Faith & Family is working with Wicket Labs, an audience insights company, to help pull together a unified view of all the disparate data sources from within the business. According to Dré Barnes, Senior Director, Innovation/Tech at UP Entertainment:

“The centralization of data into one platform has been immensely helpful to our business internally and bottom line.”

Targeting lookalike groups

The tool has allowed UP Faith & Family to identify different groups of viewers by how they interact with the videos and service. The company can track how customers watch and the journey they take from one piece of content to the next. They can also monitor what viewers watch when they first sign-up. All the data can then be used to combine customers with similar behaviors into viewing groups.

Armed with this information, UP Faith & Family can create optimized “lookalike” marketing campaigns to target viewers with similar traits as groups in their database. For example, suppose most people in a viewing group watched Heartland as soon as they signed up. UP Faith & Family can create a campaign targeting a lookalike group in social media featuring Heartland.

Optimizing the business

UP Faith & Family is just beginning to use Wicket Labs’ CHI (customer happiness index) score to analyze its customer-base. For example, the company is using it to help ferret out high-value customers. The CHI score can also be used to identify customers that are likely to churn off the service.

The company also has plans to use CHI in other places within the business. For example, customer service can use it to optimize how it deals with a caller. If agents can quickly identify if a caller is happy with the service, they could offer a “good customer” bonus. Similarly, they can root out other problems an unhappy customer might have with the service and try to address them.

Why it matters

Multiple distribution partners are a fact of life for SVOD providers.

However, it makes it difficult to obtain a unified view of the performance of the business.

With a unified view, providers can optimize many aspects of their business.


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