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Jellyfish is adapting its marketing strategy as SVODs battle for customers

Social Life has developed creative for Netflix's Orange Is The New Black / Social Life

A growing number of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services are spending big to reel in customers, and Jellyfish is hoping to cash in.

Customer acquisition is a costly proposition for SVODs; Netflix spent $554m on marketing in Q3 of 2019 alone. Working to prevent customers from canceling their subscriptions and restarting the costly marketing cycle is a key challenge for SVODs, especially when a customer’s favorite show has ended.

Jellyfish announced the acquisition of creative outfit Social Life Monday (16 December) to offer SVOD services a cure for this churn.

Social Life specializes in marketing shows from streaming services, such as Netflix’s Big Mouth, on social media through both paid and organic posts. Jellyfish chief executive officer Rob Pierre said there are opportunities for SVODs to create communities around content that keep customers engaged with TV shows in between seasons.

“It's eradicating churn because you're getting people to constantly engage with a brand,” said Pierre.

Jellyfish's pitch is that SVODs should be producing online content for their shows – whether it's videos, a Twitter post or a gif – so subscribers maintain their relationship with the streaming service and don't feel the need to cancel their subscription.

“Because it's a community, and it's relevant, and you've constantly got that engagement going, it's not a case of only advertising or producing content for the acquisition stage. You'll also block and tackle against churn.”

Jellyfish did not disclose financial terms of the deal. Social Life has a team of around 50 employees, bringing the Jellyfish headcount to around 1150.

Jellyfish does not run TV ads, so Pierre said the rise of subscription services and the decline of TV spend has marketers for SVODs looking at other channels to reach consumers.

“You still have to keep talking to [your] audience,” said Pierre. “If you're not advertising within the platform, I still think there's an opportunity for all of them off platform to keep people interested.”

Jellyfish sees an opportunity to use creative elements Social Life develops for programmatic advertising to maintain that sense of community across the open web.

“Everything can't go viral, and if you're using data to find look alike audiences, it doesn't have to be only on the social platforms,” said Pierre. “It can be across all advertising networks.”

Jellyfish also plans on using Social Life creative to drive its e-commerce business for all brands, not just in entertainment.

This is Jellyfish’s fourth acquisition of the year, and first since French firm Fimalac invested in the agency, valuing it at $647m.

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