StreamingGuideMay 17, 2021 - 10 min read
The idea is neither new nor unique, but we identified a business opportunity and a sensible way to expand the media part of the business. Kino.dk is Denmarks biggest movie media and it has until now only been centered around movies in the cinemas.
After 10 years with covering movies in the cinemas, we had built a pretty big catalogue of movie content. All the content about old movies were still on the website, but not really relevant when the movies were no more in the cinemas. The huge amount of content combined with some strong SEO work, led to some very strong google placements in various related searches. We could see that when older movies where mentioned in the media, in flow-tv or got attention from somewhere, there would be a spike I traffic on the movie profile on kino, even though the movie was not in the cinema anymore. So that does this tell us? Well, first off, the google ranking is very valuable, but also people are looking for something. We figured that we needed some way to make the old content relevant again or at least extend its period of relevance. And this is here the Streamingguide was born. See it at https://streamingguide.kino.dk
We wanted to extend the kino.dk platform to include streaming content too. The goal was to help the users find what they are looking for. So when they search for a movie, which is not in the cinema, they either want to read about the movie, watch trailer, and/or see where they can see the movie. Our overall goal with kino (and the streamingguide) is to inspire people to watch movies (and series). Kino.dk as was a content driven media for all its life and with great success. Therefore, we aim to make the streamingguide content driven too, but with a data strategy that supports the content strategy. It's all about being relevant and helping the users find interesting content.
In this project my role was as a Product Owner, since it was a part of my day job and not any of my freelance shenanigans. I did get the chance to write some code and develop a part of the project. You can read more about the crawlers and scrapers here
For this project we made a fresh drupal 8. It was an obvious choice, since Kino.dk is on a drupal 7 platform and we want to upgrade Kino and merge the two drupal installations at some point. Rather move kino.dk to the streamingguide with the new drupal feature where its possible to include multiple sites who can share components and data.
To utilize all the data on kino, we created a range of feeds including news, movies and so on, from kino.dk to the streaming guide. So some of the content (all movies) would be on both sites. It's important to remember to add a reference to the original content, to avoid the duplicate content punishment. So we added a canonical tag to the streamingguide referring to the original content on kino.
The content it split between content thats unique for kino, unique for the streamingguide and shared between the two.
To make the barrier to signup as small as possible, we made the two sites share its users/login. So we created an authentication endpoint on kino, so users can login to the streamingguide with their kino.dk login. The plan is that its the same user for both sites. It is an important aspect of our data strategy.
Short about the process
I will briefly add a few notes regarding the process.
First off, the general approach to the project was that we wanted an MVP we could extend with functionality based on the feedback we got from the users.
The project started out just as the covid-19 pandemic was starting to break out. So from the first day of the project, the cinemas were closed, and most people were working from home. This made a big difference for me, since the activity and tasks in my job was heavily reduced. So the working conditions from my side were very good. The project was run with an agile development model, where we had daily meetings of various lengths. It was developed through short sprints and I (the client) was as close to the development process as ever. We had the option to discuss and debate details, options, choices and so on, before a solution was implemented. When I am this close to the development process (or the client is) it can be extremely valuable, especially with an agile model. It does come with a downside, where the client has to spend a lot of time and energy during the process, but it pays off.
With the agile approach and the client heavily involved in the development process, we were able to act on the insights we gained in the process. This is something thats often left till after the project has finished. In this project it made sense to solve the issues on the go, act on the insights we got in the process, fix errors as soon as they appear and continuously testing. We wanted to ship a fully functional MVP that we could extend. It might be more expensive and some features will be different, but I will argue that in most situations this approach will give you a better and stronger end product. It's rarely I am in a situation where I can see 100% through the project, cover every little detail and every corner in a requirements specification. Sitting at your desk and do theocrafting without getting your hands dirty, will often lead to some nasty surprises.
Design & functionality
We wanted a new and fresh design for the streamingguide, so we could distinguish it from Kino.dk, but still have some associations with the brand. There were two reasons for the new design;
- The kino.dk design is outdated and will be updated in the near future.
- We wanted it to visually be clear that it was connected to kino, but its own platform.
The design was made by our freelance designer and implemented by Novicells frontend developers.
The frontpage was made up by various articles, guides and sliders with movies or series
Content strategy and SEO
Prior project start I did some analyzing on both google searches, trends and our current traffic. We knew we needed a strategy on how to write content to target the different popular searches.
Users would often just search for the title of the movie, but in my research I quickly realized that the volume on searches like "Top 10 movies on Netflix" and so on were pretty significant. It was clear to me that a lot of users were looking for some kind of curated view of movies Netflix, hbo and other streamingservices. It seemed like they were not able to get that overview from the provider. Maybe they were even looking for inspiration across different providers.
So we agreed on a content strategy were we would recommend movies and series to stream each month, top movies on Netflix, hbo, etc. Combined with our high google ranking on the movie searches we hope to get a lot of organic traffic.
Alongside the guides, we are trying to create a range of different universes, like; "James Bond", "Harry Potter", "Marvel." In these universes we gather all the relevant info such as movies, series, news and guides on the same page. This hopefully gives the users a good overview of "Harry Potter" related things and will over time help us target the Harry Potter related searches.
Reaching the audience
So our plan is to reach our audience in a few different ways:
- Trying to boost "generic" articles, like top 10 movies on Netflix, but constantly keeping them updated and trying to push traffic to the page. Eventually (hopefully) it will get more and more traffic and rank higher and higher.
- Every month we will make a "Movies you should see on
" to stay relevant and hopefully get some returning visitors. This kind of articles is also well suited for newsletters.
- On kino.dk we link to the streamingguide for each movie that is no longer in the cinemas. So users who visit a movie profile on kino, thats not in the cinemas, would easily be able to go to the streamingguide.
- When users have signed up and start using our platform, we have a range of different "hooks" where we can pull them to the site. We hope to get them to follow us on social media and maybe even sign up for the news letter.
Data and data strategy
This is still under development, but the goal is clear. We need to be able to give the editors the option to communicate with segmented user groups, based on their interest and cinema/streaming history.
With the GDPR and the cookie law I do not really see a cookie based tracking solution as a valid option anymore. Therefor I have been looking into a few different serverside tracking options.
I hope to be able to implement a full-blown data platform, where we would be able to utilize all the data we have in an easy and intuitive way.
I do believe that the key when we talk about data is to be platform independent. So I want to extract the data to its own platform and from that platform create segments to marketing tools. I will write another article about this when its up and running. But the overall goal is not to share the data with a 3rd part, we need to own it ourself and have full control.
There is only a few features on the streaminguide right now, but we have a lot of features in the backlog/pipeline.
Some of the essential features that we decided to implement in v1 was:
- Option to add a movie/series to watchlist
- Mark movie/series as seen
- Rate movies/series
- Sponsored pages
Features in backlog
Our backlog contains a lot of different ideas, suggests, hope and dreams. We do want to get some feedback from actual users, before we make up our mind regarding the next steps. Some of the features we hope to develop are:
- Unlimited lists for users
- Option to follow users
- Option to follow watchlists/make them public.
- Comments, forum, debate, community activity
- User reviews
- Recommendation engine
- Content driven universes