ViX + Kubit Case Study
How Kubit Supported the Growth of Mexico's Most Popular Streaming Platform
Who is ViX?
The global video streaming market is massive: it’s valued at $400 billion USD annually, with projected growth close to 20% every year. So when the world’s largest Spanish-language media content company, TelevisaUnivision, decided to launch its own video streaming platform, they knew that the potential was huge.
TelevisaUnivision (TU) launched its new platform, ViX, in March 2022. From day one, it was clear that ViX was ready to be a major player. They offer more than 50,000 hours of Spanish-language content across genres – including original series and movies, live sports, live news, and current hits from both Televisa and Univision. ViX also had access to a massive library of top franchise content from Televisa’s archive.
Their next challenge was to understand how the customers they acquired are adopting the platform and most importantly…would they return. TU uses Kubit exclusively to understand key product metrics, conversion and retention use cases; empowering their teams to self-serve insights.
Who is Kubit?
The modern data stack has brought a significant advancement in learning from product data. So emerged a new approach to product analytics, warehouse native. Kubit is a new technology that allows customers to leverage existing data inside their cloud data warehouses via a purpose-built UI. Through a 10-day implementation process, customers like ViX are able to ask and answer their product questions rapidly without needing to move or copy data.
Kubit offers a user-friendly interface for accessing their data warehouse and customized Customer Success and technical support to meet TelevisaUnivision’s specific use cases.
TelevisaUnivision and Kubit partnered in 2022 after the ViX launch and provided transparent product analytics across various teams throughout their tremendous growth. This case study will showcase how they worked together, what was achieved by the ViX teams and the value of having access to Kubit enabled.
ViX began as a free, ad-supported service (AVOD), and four months later (in July 2022), they added a paid subscription version (SVOD). Now they support various subscription tiers, terms, and AVOD streaming services.
ViX’s timeline to success was parabolic and grew to capture the Mexico, US, and LATAM markets with their vast array of streaming content. After a Q1 launch of their free tier and a Q2 debut of their paid subscription tier, by Q3, the platform was already contributing to TU’s subscription revenues. By July of 2023, TU could boast that their global subscription and licensing revenue had grown 14% – growth they attribute primarily to ViX’s premium subscription tier.
It’s now the largest dedicated Spanish-language streaming service in the world with more than 25 million monthly active users on its free tier alone. They were awarded Apple TV’s App of the Year in 2022 globally – the first Spanish-language app to receive this recognition – and Google Play’s Best App of 2022 in Mexico.
Product Analytics Vendor Selection
When it came to choosing a Product Analytics solution, it wasn’t just a decision between Kubit and other Product Analytics tools; there was also the eternal “build-vs-buy” question. Would it not have made sense for a company as large as TelevisaUnivision and a platform like ViX that involves so much data just to build their own Product Analytics tool?
ViX Engineering leadership agreed that buying a SaaS solution – which includes access to in-house experts – is generally much smarter than building one’s own tool. Building creates a risk of losing key expertise every time there’s turnover on the data engineering team.
Once they decided to buy a Product Analytics tool, the ViX teams quickly ruled out legacy solutions which would require them to send billions of daily user behavior events to proprietary data silos. Sending so many events would have carried an astronomical price tag. The option of paying less by working only with sampled data was also not possible for the ViX teams – as sampled data doesn’t allow for accuracy when measuring crucial heartbeat signals (for example, metrics calculated based on viewing seconds).
More importantly, ViX needed a solution that worked with the central data warehouse and growing tech stack. All content, subscription, and in-app messaging data would be stored in their data warehouse, and they needed to join it dynamically with their user behavior events data. Building and maintaining ETL jobs to sync this other business data to a third-party silo would be daunting, error-prone, and expensive.
ViX chose Segment as their customer data platform (CDP) to instrument their user behavior events and send data to their data warehouse, which they then connect to Kubit. Kubit seamlessly integrates with leading cloud warehouses, offering ViX flexibility in their choice of data stack investment.
For their Product Analytics needs ViX chose Kubit – which offers everything they needed, including a warehouse-native architecture that solves all the challenges inherent to legacy tools:
- Kubit integrates with major CDPs like Segment by leveraging their turn-key integrations with cloud data warehouses. Rather than configuring new destinations specific to Kubit, ViX sends all data into the warehouse where it’s able to be queried in minutes.
- Because ViX was early in their product launch when the partnership with Kubit began, Kubit was able to leverage the existing Segment data and route this into Snowflake where it’s able to be analyzed. As ViX evolves, they are freely able to change warehouse providers as Kubit works with any of them (Snowflake, BigQuery, Redshift etc.).
The beginning of any Product Analytics tool’s implementation is collecting the necessary data to power it, ViX’s implementation was no different. They began focusing on capturing the most relevant data across their product surfaces.
Jay Iyer is TelevisaUnivision’s VP of Data Engineering, and he was brought in to lead the building out of ViX’s data infrastructure.
With a background in data engineering for video streaming platforms, Iyer pushed for a Product Analytics motion to be at the heart of all initial data reporting for ViX: “For a streaming platform, Product Analytics provides the metrics that are the bread and butter. This includes the content that users are watching, the user behavior, and anything that can be fed into KPIs – such as active users, total minutes watched, and streaming hours.”
Once Segment data had been instrumented, the Kubit implementation became a mere 10-day effort to understand the ViX data model, define necessary joins and table relationships, and finally test within the Kubit UI.
Iyer describes Kubit as “empowering for the company,” pointing out how rare it is for any data tool to be able to provide business value right away.
Once Kubit implementation was completed, the ViX teams needed only to add new events and fields (event metadata) to tables shared with Kubit to expose them for reporting. More complex changes, like new device platforms, required a simple change request and were available in just a couple of days. Kubit received these requests and managed all mapping/changes with minimal support from ViX required.
ViX Use Cases
Kubit is used across various teams within ViX, including the product, data, growth, and analytics groups, who leverage it to understand each unique use case.
New Feature Release and Monitoring
As the platform grew, ViX eventually created a team focused specifically on Product Analytics, which is now one of three teams that make up the broader Data team; the other teams are Content Analytics and Subscriber Retention Analytics.
“Product had been doing their own thing in Kubit, and Data was also doing their own thing, and there was no connection between the two,” explains Senior Product Analyst Isabella Poleo, a founding member of the Product Analytics team, “So my teammates and I now help to bridge that gap.”
The data warehouse and Kubit: it’s a simple data stack but a powerful one. “We were struggling to keep up with new product releases and trying to ensure that we were always looking at the right KPIs, and how even to measure if a new release was doing well or something was broken. Without Kubit, there’s no way we would have been able to keep up with the pace,” says Poleo. “Kubit is so quick, so user-friendly. I can just filter by platform and by the different releases and immediately get my questions answered.”
Through Kubit, Poleo and her team are able to create standard dashboards with alerts and anomaly detection to trigger emails when key metrics dip or spike. This accelerates their time to see an issue and raise a ticket vs. manually checking each dashboard daily.
Improving the Search Experience
Sam White is a Senior Product Manager (PM) for Engagement at ViX who describes his primary role as the Product Owner of the Search function.
When it comes to White’s day-to-day work to ensure that ViX’s Search function is working correctly and is also continuously improving, Kubit plays a crucial role.
“After I’ve launched a feature, once I’m out of experimentation and this feature lives as part of the ViX ecosystem, I can count on Kubit to tell me if it’s performing. If it doesn’t perform, then my job as a PM is not done. And if it does perform, my job is also not done – because then I need to spike the football and say ‘awesome job’ to everyone. Kubit gives me all that data. And that data provides me with confidence as a PM.”
Among the Kubit features that White uses the most, he says that Funnel ranks at the top because they are so useful when getting a very granular understanding of what happens in a user’s journey through ViX. He gave the example of a dashboard he created, which shows a funnel for each device or platform on which a user is watching ViX.
In one instance, he quickly spotted an anomaly in the iOS mobile funnel: users coming from Search clicked and opened a screen, but none of them started watching a video. “A sudden drop-off in data suggests a bug; I suspected that the navigation section tracking for Search on iOS mobile was broken and was able to immediately file a report so we could investigate and repair the issue,” he says. He adds that without Kubit’s intuitive Funnel dashboards, it would be much harder and more time-consuming to identify and fix these types of bugs.
Proactive Data Quality Analysis
ViX’s broader data infrastructure also includes a team called “Instrumentation and Analytics.” According to Technical Product Manager Daniela Santisteban, this team’s purpose is to ensure that data consumers are set up for success with any type of user behaviors that may happen in the app.
This includes acting as the first line of defense if something goes wrong on the ViX platform, reacting if an outage occurs, and monitoring all data pipelines. “We also help to ensure that new features are executed well and that stakeholders are aware if there’s a way to measure anything new or important that’s coming up on ViX,” Santisteban added.
She highlights how invaluable Kubit is when it comes to monitoring any breaks in data pipelines and event instrumentation. “Recently, views on our ‘Continue Watching’ row took a nosedive. Our Editorial team feared they had broken something. Kubit was able to help us locate a backend issue that was affecting multiple things, and was also helping us monitor this bug as we stabilized and resolved it.”
Most importantly, she says, so much of this type of work is increasingly done by Product Managers themselves. “Kubit has reduced the workload of my team. It’s so nice to have a truly self-service tool, one where we can teach the Product Managers ‘how to fish,’ so they can then work on their own – whether that’s monitoring certain activities by themselves, or digging into specific user actions that might be really important to them.”
ViX shared that what they love about Product Analytics is they feel like they have control—finding and delivering insights about their product and knowing that their people can take action on insights and suggestions. Seeing this immediate impact and how fast the team can implement suggested changes based on insights is so powerful and satisfying.
The access to insights near-real time allowed the ViX teams to monitor performance, conversion and consumption during two major events in the past 24 months. In 2022 ViX broadcasted the World Cup Tournament to its LATAM audiences. Without Kubit the ability to manage this volume of data as quickly as was needed would have been all but impossible. The same can be said for their recently popular reality show called “La Casa De Los Famosos”. This monster hit garnered a captive audience and boosted their Live content popularity. In Kubit, ViX is now able to segment the audience of “La Casa” watchers and convert them to long standing customers by seeing what else they watched; promoting content that they’d find interesting.
To further illustrate, Jay Iyer mentions that Kubit absorbs potential costs when deciding to hire additional resources. He says, “I need to get things done fast. I can’t go back and say, give me five or ten more engineers, or we need more analysts. My bosses aren’t going to listen to that. What they need to know is: what’s the market’s pulse? Especially when there’s a lot of dollars at stake. Kubit was able to provide us with that immediately.”
He adds, “With a SaaS solution like Kubit, the bang for your buck is tangible, and it’s immediate. To get equivalent value in-house, I would essentially have had to build our own in-house Product Analytics unit – a project that would have incurred massive, ongoing costs and a long, somewhat unpredictable timeline.”
To date, ViX runs an average of 3,500 queries in Kubit monthly across a user base of 50+ end users. For this burgeoning team, Kubit is a critical tool enabling 116 average queries per user per month.
ViX is almost two years out from its launch and already has so many successes to celebrate.
In parallel the organization built a robust business intelligence (BI) practice which serviced top level reporting needs. While BI is absolutely a necessary capability, the team knew in order to manage the volume of data streaming created, Product Analytics was to be the reporting engine that delivered self-service insights. Even if they had the time and resources to implement a hub spoke model where they provide centralized analysts, the out of the box analytics provided by Kubit can take months to build, and on-going support is a whole new conversation.
To complete this journey by looking at their work, let’s return to the words of VP of Engineering Jay Iyer.
Iyer points out that not every step is smooth or easy on a path to success. “There was a time when stakeholders were actively seeking reports in Slack channels, and it was clear that there wasn’t trust in reporting.” He credits the extensive work in Kubit and the fact that a growing number of stakeholders are working directly in Kubit with raising the overall level of trust. “If anyone were to ask me why we use Kubit, that’s my number-one reason. You have to have broad trust in your data, and Kubit has restored that trust for us.”
- You can check out ViX here or on any of your mobile devices. To learn more about Kubit and Warehouse-Native Product Analytics, go to our website to sign up for a live demo or take a virtual tour.
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