Starz builds series demand with Amazon Advertising

Starz, a premium television network, wanted to drive viewers for the first season of its new drama Outlander.

To build viewership, Starz needed to create awareness and demand for the program among book series fans and fans of similar programming. By working with Amazon display ads, Starz grew an excited fan base through videos and show content, distributed across screens and web properties.

The Amazon media solution

In advance of the series premiere, Amazon display ads focused on reaching Outlander book series fans and fans of similar programming using first-party audience and contextual targeting on IMDb.

To generate awareness and demand, potential viewers were reached on properties like IMDb.com, Amazon.com (mobile and desktop), Fire tablets, and Kindle eReaders.

A custom Immersion Landing Page on Fire tablet featured show content including: videos, photos, series background, and links to download the Starz Play App and subscribe to the Starz network.

Single-day, frequency-capped IMDb.com takeovers were used to increase impact prior to the premieres. The takeovers branded the site with Outlander imagery and featured the trailer to entertainment super-fans for their first daily IMDb exposure.

For the back half of season 1, Starz hoped to capitalize on the series’s buzz by reengaging current show fans and growing the viewer base. After the success of the premiere campaign, Amazon Advertising expanded the media plan to include Amazon DSP video ads, extending the reach of Outlander video content across additional brand-safe sites.

Season 1 success metrics5

  • Delivered over 1,000 hours of user-initiated Outlander video playback on Fire tablet (video view time).
  • The IMDb.com takeover drove efficient engagement with a CPC of $0.60 and nearly 300K clicks.
  • Branded skins on IMDb.com (targeted wrap) drove efficient engagement with a click-through rate (CTR) above 4% with a CPC below $0.35.
  • Kindle eReaders drove clicks and delivered over 28K user requests for additional show information via email.
  • The Fire tablet immersion landing page promoting the series premiere delivered:
  • 84% visitor interaction rate.
  • Over 68K user landing page actions.
  • Over 8,000 Starz Play App download clicks.
  • Average video view time over 113 seconds.
  • Both the premiere and mid-season premiere delivered top premiere-day Twitter conversation volume, ranking No. 1 and No. 2 respectively among all TV series on premiere day.3
  • The mid-season premiere continued ratings success with 2.4MM total weekend viewers.4

Learn more about entertainment marketing.

Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution), and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.

Source:
1 Nielsen Npower data, all persons, 8/9-8/14/2014 and Starz internal data for multiple Starz platforms as of 8/14/14
2 Twitter, August 2014
3 Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings 4/9/14
4 Nielsen Npower data, all persons, 4/4-4/5/2015
5 Starz Outlander End of Campaign Report Amazon Internal 2015

Highlights
  • Surpassed 5MM viewers in the first week.1
  • The premiere trended twice at No. 2 in US Twitter trends during the East Coast airing.2
  • Over 68K user landing page actions.5
  • Delivered over 680K engagements with Outlander content at a cost-per-click (CPC) under $1.005.5