Starz built a data tool that matches storylines across scripts to help develop new original TV shows for fans of 'Power' and 'Outlander'
- Starz is using data analytics to help find and then transition fans of its hits like "Power" and "Outlander" to new original TV shows.
- With audiences being offered more streaming alternatives, Starz is striving to air programming that serves its core audience of women every single week.
- The data-analytics tool helps match storylines across Starz's existing shows and content it is developing.
- "It's helping us kind of craft which pieces of content we look at," Jeffrey Hirsch, CEO of Starz, told Business Insider.
- It helps give Starz execs confidence that "of the elements of shows that are successful on the air for us today, this new piece of content will match that audience," he said.
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Starz's direct-to-consumer streaming services - notably the Starz app in the US - are helping the premium-TV network in more ways than one.
Viewing data from the Starz app is feeding into an in-house data-analytics tool that helps match storylines across its existing shows and content it is developing, Jeffrey Hirsch, CEO of Starz, told Business Insider.
With audiences being offered more streaming alternatives, Starz is striving to air programming that serves its core audience of women every single week. It's using data to help find, and transition fans of its hits like "Power" and "Outlander" to, new original shows.
"It's helping us kind of craft which pieces of content we look at," Hirsch said.
Execs can input scripts they are evaluating for development into the tool. The tool then matches the scripts to storylines in existing Starz programming to show common themes or elements. In this way, the tool helps the content-development team determine how likely Starz's viewers are to respond to potential storylines or projects, though Hirsch said the team is not rewriting scripts based on the data.
"This is still 99% art and 1% science," Hirsch said.
Starz is currently developing spinoffs within the universe of "Power," which is airing its final episodes. But it's also creating fresh programming that it hopes to appeal to fans of the show, who Hirsch said skew black and female. Its upcoming projects with "Power" appeal include "Run the World," a comedy about black female friendships, and "P Valley," a drama set in a strip club.
Fans of "Outlander," meanwhile, fall into two camps, Hirsch said: they love period pieces or romances. Starz is programming for both of those bases with series like "The Spanish Princess," the upcoming "Becoming Elizabeth," and a "Dangerous Liaisons" prequel that's in development. All focus on historical figures and time periods and include elements of romance.
Starz's data-analytics tool gives execs "a better feeling that, of the elements of shows that are successful on the air for us today, this new piece of content will match that audience," Hirsch said. "We can transition the consumer from one piece of content to the next because the storylines are similar."
The CEO said Starz also analyzes data to:
- identify licensed titles its audience is watching to make smarter deals with outside studios
- target its marketing more efficiently
Read the full story about CEO Jeffrey Hirsch's big plans for Starz at Business Insider Prime:
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