JustWatch – Finding a way in streaming
In this magazine we have seen firsthand the large amount of quality content being consumed today through streaming services on VOD/OTT platforms. The offer is huge, but more importantly, the demand continues to grow. The consumer now finds himself in an intricate labyrinth where finding the right way to enjoy his favorite content can become a really complex task. The options are many and there is not enough time – or money – to explore them all. JustWatch was born as a guide to overcome the streaming labyrinth. The platform of David Croyé, whom you can read in these lines, is the perfect guide for the viewer. A guide to survive in the streaming wars.
How was JustWatch born?
The idea of JustWatch came from my personal problems of keeping track what is new and where I can watch a specific movie someone told me about on one of my – too many – streaming services I subscribed to, and my background in performance marketing.
What is JustWatch’s business model?
JustWatch has three revenue streams. The first one is the most obvious, that we monetize our own platform with affiliate commissions, freemium and banner ads. The second one is, that we license the where to watch data and data insights to many partners and clients. The third one is the biggest and it is that we use the data from JustWatch to manage trailer advertising campaigns on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for our clients like Universal, Paramount, Sony, Disney, Prime Video and many more around the world.
What is the infrastructure required for JustWatch to provide the necessary information to each user?
We have a team of several fulltime content engineers and many virtual assistants around the world to keep the data up to date and fix matching mistakes.
We’ve built our own software to ingest large amounts of data every day in over 70 countries.
The JustWatch platform adapts to each user, what artificial intelligence and personalized recommendation solutions have you adapted?
We’ve built our own machine learning models to create recommendation for each user based on the content they like, dislike, click on, search, put on their watchlist, etc.
Do you work with information from VOD/OTT platforms or do you collect it from databases?
We have APIs from many streaming services, but most of the times we crawl their websites like Google does for search.
The posters and images are from several meta-databases.
How have you integrated your platform into mobile operating systems and Smart TVs?
We have developed hybrid apps for Android and iOS based on VueJS as well as for Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, LG TVs, Samsung and Xbox which are based on React Native.
Throughout your 7 years of existence, how has your technological growth been?
We started our apps with Angular JS and migrated to VueJS and React Native and used several different frameworks to be able to work from mainly one codebase over seven years.
What is the biggest technological challenge you have faced?
It has been to overcome technical debt on the frontend side and the matching system for the metadata across so many countries and languages.
Do you use a virtualized environment to host your technological infrastructure?
Yes. We started out mostly on AWS and migrated mostly to GCP.
What are JustWatch’s expansion plans?
JustWatch will launch in even more countries, add more streaming services and launch on additional platforms. We are also thinking about adding streaming availability for sports and what we can do in the gaming area.