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How ALTBalaji, a popular on-demand video platform, use Journeys to increase their user retention rates by 30%
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Quick Facts

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    Increase in user retention

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    Increase in D7 retention

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    Uplift in conversions

Real-time messages via WebEngage have proven to increase key KPIs to as high as 75%. Hand holding the user has resulted in retained customers.

Manav Sethi
Chief Marketing Officer, ALTBalaji

Customer Profile

ALTBalaji is a Subscription-based Video-On-Demand (SVOD) platform and is a fully owned subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Ltd. Available across multiple interfaces ranging from desktops, laptops, tablets, smart-phones, game stations to internet-ready television, ALTBalaji marries state-of-the-art technology with gripping storytelling. They are one of India’s leading Over-The-Top (OTT) media players with over 100 hours of original content belonging to a wide variety of content categories.

The Objective

Conversion GoalIncrease Content (Video) Views

As India progresses steadily to the maturity stage of the smartphone era, the confines of closed-room television viewing have started to disintegrate. Fuelled by access to better tech and the proliferation of 4G mobile data, consumer behavior is evolving. Consumers want video-on-demand on their smartphones, personalized to their tastes and preferences, devoid of advertisements with full control over the multimedia experience.

This behavior is not unique to urban millennials or the generation Z brigade. It has penetrated deeper into older age groups with the emergence of multiple OTT players and new, varied content. According to Comscore, there are currently 70 million OTT viewers in the US alone, which will double in the next 2 years. The opportunity is ripe for OTT Media to shine.

ALTBalaji realized the high-intensity impact of content consumption early on. They wanted to drive User Retention and ensure that users who landed on their platform or downloaded their mobile app view the platform’s video content. For this, they enlisted the help of WebEngage’s Marketing Automation platform to create intelligent User Journey campaigns.

The WebEngage Effect

Here, we will be analyzing a journey that ALTBalaji ran to increase the video views for users of their Android mobile app.  


This journey has 2 event-based Entry Points

  • On App Install
  • On App Upgrade

Once a user installs/ upgrades the app, this journey gets triggered for them. The ALTBalaji team designed this journey for the sole purpose of maximizing platform video views. The journey employs a two-pronged communication approach to user engagement: Push Notification & Email.

The aim is to pitch high-rated content to users who haven’t played any video so far after installing/ upgrading the app. The base logic is to expose users to their content and create a need in the user to consume more content from thereon. Users would want to stay on the platform for longer and keep coming back in the long run to consume more video content.

Journey Breakdown

Event Trigger 1 – App Upgrade

Once a user upgrades their app, the system waits for them to play a video for up to 3 hours. If the user doesn’t perform the video play event in the stipulated time, then the system checks the user’s availability on the push channel. If the user is available via push notification, then the journey triggers a push notification to the user’s mobile device:

It promotes the platform’s flagship show to the user with a strong visual notification, highlighting the show’s exceptionally high IMDb rating.

Event Trigger 2 – App Install

Post app installs, the system waits for 5 minutes. On timeout, it carries out a check to confirm the user’s availability on the push channel. If the availability is negative, the same check is carried out again after a 30-minute gestation period. The system checks if the user is available on the push channel and serves a push notification to the user:

These were individually unique push notifications that went out in both entry points. Now, the journey unifies both entry points with an email campaign.

In case users originating from both the entry points are not available on push, the system waits for 1 day. On timeout, the system then performs a check for email availability. If the user is available over an email, then an email is sent to the users that looks like this:

How ALTBalaji Increases User Retention Rate by 30% | Case Study

In case the user is not available over an email, then the journey ends for them right there.

Now that the journey has been explained, let us take a look at some of the numbers for the month of January & February. This particular journey was started in February, which is why we will be directly comparing the stats from that month with the numbers from January.

The Result

According to certain research reports, apps are bound to lose over 77% of their DAU (Daily Average Users) in the first 3 days. ALTBalaji managed to counter this known issue with their elaborate User Retention strategy powered by WebEngage’s Journey feature. One month into running the Journey, the results started flowing in and retention numbers started climbing up.

The contextual, timely nudges deployed by the platform enhanced engagement on the back of intelligent triggers. This increased the possibility of user engagement. It also added more value to the overall experience by creating a relevant, guided flow for users. We studied the cohort performance to understand the effect on day-wise retention numbers. 

Defining the CohortUsers who installed the app and played video content

  • First event = App Install
  • Return Event = Played Video Content

We analyzed the Cohort’s Retention percentage for the months of January (before starting the Journey) & Feb (after starting the journey). This basically represents the percentage of users who installed the app and came back on the respective days to carry out the return event, i.e. played a video on the platform.

  • 30% improvement in D1 Retention MOM
  • 51% improvement in D3 Retention MOM
  • 77% improvement in D6 Retention MOM
  • 75% improvement in D7 Retention MOM

The Implementation of Journeys was instrumental in increasing retention rates for the brand. 

  • 1 month after starting the Journey to increase video play event after app installs, ALTBalaji witnessed a significant increase in the Day 1 to Day 7 retention percentages.
  • By leveraging contextual nudges via Push Notification and Emails, ALTBalaji managed to increase user engagement intelligently and drive more users into playing video content on the platform.
  • A control group experiment confirmed this, with the focus group managing to garner higher conversions powered by the WebEngage journey, as compared to the control group that wasn’t exposed to the Journey. The journey that they ran helped them get a 9.51% uplift in terms of their conversion event, i.e. Video plays.

How ALTBalaji Increases User Retention Rate by 30% | Case Study

“Keep them coming back for more”. ALTBalaji set out to emulate just that. And they’ve managed to crack the retention problem rather effectively with the intelligent use of Marketing Automation and contextual engagement.

Retain Your Users Like ALTBalaji – Let’s Start Together

Manav Sethi

Manav Sethi Chief Marketing Officer, ALTBalaji

“We at ALTBalaji take marketing tech stack seriously and continue to invest in the same. The WebEngage team has been proactively working with us on automating user journey and the results are astounding! Real-time triggers and messages have proven to increase key KPIs to as high as 75% in some cases. Hand Holding the user has resulted in happy and retained customer thereby directly impacting LTV.”

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