Canal+

Re-linearize the TV experience

Context

As one of the most iconic and forward-thinking media in France, Canal+ has a long history of innovation in the distribution of its premium and original content. In 2012, Canal+ decided to recast its TV replay website, moving from Flash-based technology to HTML5. Moreover, at the same time, social networks were starting to become big in France, and Canal+ realized it could capitalize on this social boom to better engage and know its viewers, and decided to take advantage of its TV replay website to add a social layer on top of it.

Canal+ visuals

In this context, MFG Labs appeared as the best partner to accompany Canal+ for two reasons:

  • MFG Labs was the creator of Cinémur, one of the first movie recommandation service fully embracing social capabilities and data-driven features in France, with very similar challenges as those of Canal+ at the time.
  • MFG Labs was one of the few French Facebook OpenGraph V2 partners, providing us
 with a dramatic edge on Facebook features knowledge and data-related opportunities.

Canal+ came to us for a consulting mission to help design a digital strategy that would leverage our technical expertise of video players and our knowledge of social media opportunities to improve the overall viewer experience.

A computer with 3 screenshots of Canal+

The solution

The Canal+ Social Player core concept was to add a thick social layer on top of Canal+ great content, to capture the data of viewer actions on this content, and to eventually use data to fuel the personalization of the viewing experience.

A screenshot of Canal+ interface
Facebook connexion for the social player

Thanks to a Facebook connect, we have been able to dramatically reduce the entry barriers to the service while capturing rich viewers social data. A brand new video player, along with users interactions tracking strategy also gave us a granular view on the behavior of viewers on the platform. Viewer involvement was encouraged by a broad spectrum of social features such as a custom newsfeed, personalized and friends channels, real time comments, reactions and more. These features formed a robust framework that allowed viewers to create their own content feed, rebuilding a valuable, linear viewing experience that had been partially lost with the rise of VOD services.

Social player features

As a premium network, Canal+ expected to have this forward-thinking social strategy come with a slick User Interface design. Once the strategy and technical specifications were validated, we produced the service mockups. The proposed UI perfectly fit Canal+ iconic design, following the historic guidelines of the media brand while adding new graphic codes to highlight the innovative social facet of the service.

What were the results?

MFG Labs strategic recommendations were followed and implemented by Canal+, and the service was officially launched by the brand at SXSW 2014, arousing unanimous enthusiasm amongst the press and influencers.