The Curious Case Study of Halloween Flix
Two of the largest advantages Unreel has over the competition is the ability to launch new OTT streaming services across every platform in a matter of hours and days, instead of weeks and months, and the seamless flow of content within our ecosystem. These are two strengths of ours, among many, that no one else in the industry can hold a candle to. Although we flex our muscles by doing both of these things on a daily basis, few brands better exemplify the abilities of the Unreel platform than our new streaming service, Halloween Flix.
Launch in days:
Rewind to 3 weeks before Halloween — a sudden horrifying realization strikes Unreel’s internal content team — a Halloween focused streaming service might do incredibly well during October. Already a week into the month, the time to put this strategy into action was rapidly slipping away. In a matter of a day our team put together design assets for a new brand and ingested content into the new streaming service, Halloween Flix. The following day, Halloween Flix launched as an AVOD supported app on ROKU.
The new brand was brought to life and thrusted out into the ROKU channel store to fend for itself with zero marketing support. Fortunately, our hunch was correct, there was strong demand for seasonal niche’ apps, and Halloween Flix took off. The app received over 23,000 organic downloads in the few short weeks leading up to Halloween, however there was a significant issue. Users were pouring in, but they were also pouring out. Average view times per session were running under 6 minutes, and the uninstall rate was over 80%!
Unreel had built a strong brand that proved enticing enough to stand out in the app store, but there was a problem. The videos within Halloween Flix left much to be desired. Our launch was an experiment and we rushed to piece together content that we had license to use from creators whose videos vaguely fit into a Halloween theme. Users seeking scares were greeted by vlogs and top 10 lists.
With strong organic growth, we had the evidence to confirm our hypothesis — holiday focused vertical apps have significant demand. This proof made it easy to convince several partners with extensive premium movie libraries, who currently use the Unreel platform to power their own OTT streaming services, to syndicate their horror movies to Halloween Flix on a rev-share model. On October 20th permission was asked to distribute their movies to Halloween Flix. On October 21st the green light was given, and instantly 40 full length movies were added to the service. By October 22nd, view times had ballooned to over 40 minutes per session, and the churn rate was cut by more than half. Overnight Halloween Flix turned an inactive user-base into engaged fans. To close out the season, on Halloween the service received over 30,000 minutes watched. In three weeks Unreel invented a brand, launched an app, integrated premium content, received 23,000 installs and developed an active user-base — all while spending next to nothing.
How it worked:
To set up a new streaming service Unreel simply needs design assets and a destination to ingest content from. Our white-labeled platform with modular design means there is little to no upfront development work necessary to launch apps with a custom feel and function on every OTT platform. The time consuming process of building a sophisticated backend with the complex architecture to handle the requirements of a streaming service has already been completed; all that’s left to do is plug-and-play. Of course Unreel is more than a cookie-cutter white-labeled OTT app shop, learn more about Unreel’s advantages and our 4 patents here.
Once content is ingested into our platform, either by direct upload or synced from a feed/source, those videos can then easily flow to any Unreel powered streaming service. For partners with multiple brands, this makes it very simple to organize and manage content across their entire network; sending videos to and from each of their properties. This also allows for seamless syndication from one partner on the Unreel platform to another, as was the case with Halloween Flix. There are already over 3 million videos in our ecosystem that can instantly be distributed on any Unreel powered service.