Acing fraud prevention and reducing CPIs by 15% thanks to AppsFlyer products

Starzplay feature


STARZPLAY is the market leader in the video-on-demand market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Sold through multichannel video distributors and online and digital platforms, STARZPLAY offers more than 7,500 premium TV episodes and feature films — that include original series, first-run movies, and other popular content.

STARZPLAY Arabia has leveraged the power of the STARZPLAY brand, producing original Arabic content and offering live sports events.


While STARZPLAY has experienced sustained growth, their marketing team were faced with a number of obstacles that were affecting their return on ad spend (ROAS) and a few other KPIs.

Like much of the video-on-demand industry, true success for STARZPLAY comes from long-term client retention. Attracting new users is still important to business growth, but identifying those who would go on to become loyal subscribers remains a key business objective.

Of course, this in itself can prove challenging. STARZPLAY had initially focused on acquiring lower-cost traffic through affiliate marketing, but had come to realize the limitations of scaling this approach.

One major limiting factor was fraud. STARZPLAY’s business model means that any level of fraud can prove particularly costly.

Users who become long-term subscribers to the platform deliver the highest lifetime value (LTV) to STARZPLAY. Of course, fraudulent installs have no chance of ever becoming valuable loyal subscribers, which meant STARZPLAY were risking a significant impact on their bottom line without adequate fraud protection.

Although STARZPLAY were already working with a mobile measurement partner (MMP), they were not meeting their expected level of performance, so began the process of searching for a solution they could trust in full.


STARZPLAY migrated to AppsFlyer in 2020, a move partly motivated by two specific AppsFlyer products: Protect360 and AppsFlyer Audiences.

Protect360 is AppsFlyer’s fraud protection suite that ensures businesses pay for real users, not bots. With STARZPLAY operating on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis with their affiliates, this had inadvertently placed them in the crosshairs of attribution fraudsters — for whom CPAs are an attractive target.

Through advanced CPA fraud protection and post-attribution fraud detection, Protect360 is designed to identify and eliminate even the most sophisticated fraudulent activity.

In addition, STARZPLAY’s team were able to quickly utilize AppsFlyer’s Audiences suite to create clusters and segmentations of users, while smoothly integrating with their media partners like Facebook and Google.

STARZPLAY could now create cohorts of users based on specific genres of movies or TV shows, which enabled them to easily deliver content recommendations with greater personalization — based on customer’s viewing habits.

Not only did STARZPLAY see near-instant returns from their new MMP, but the AppsFlyer team has also been on hand to offer continuous support whenever needed.

“When we started using Protect360, we wanted to reconcile our numbers with those of one of our partners. A member of the AppsFlyer team joined a call with ourselves and the partner and from there we were able to take care of it very quickly.”

Muhammad Mnisi, Head of Performance Marketing, STARZPLAY


STARZPLAY saw a remarkable, immediate impact through using Protect360. They were able to detect that for every $100 spent on acquisition via app affiliates and their CPA-based model, around $40 was being spent on fraudulent activity.

With Protect360 in place, they were able to pinpoint and fix that wasted spend immediately and seamlessly.

“Setup of Protect360 was simple – it’s a plug-and-play solution that didn’t require any new integrations or development resources from our side. It’s been a great success for us.”

Hamid Naeem, Senior Performance Marketing Manager, STARZPLAY

Having a clearer and more accurate picture of their attribution gave STARZPLAY the confidence to quickly scale up their affiliate marketing efforts, broadening their acquisition campaigns.

STARZPLAY also saw significant benefits from integrating with AppsFlyer’s Audiences product and the highly-efficient audience segmentation it provides.

“Attribution used to be a major challenge for us… now AppsFlyer allows us to allocate which channel is driving the correct attribution. We’ve since been able to improve attribution on a channel level by 40%, as well as drastically reducing CPIs and growing our overall app install volume.”

Hamid Naeem, Senior Performance Marketing Manager, STARZPLAY

With precise audience targeting, AppsFlyer Audiences made sure that STARZPLAY’s UA budget could go further than ever before. The team saw a 15% reduction in CPIs when comparing Q1 2022 to the previous year, and a 20% increase in their app install volume.

Looking forward

STARZPLAY are continuing to expand their entertainment hub to include live sports like rugby, UFC, football and cricket, in addition to their core service. With every new addition to their hub, AppsFlyer is already set up to support and aid STARZPLAY’s expansion.

“For every new service we add, AppsFlyer is our solution to get the data on the events and postbacks. They are our one-stop shop for all future developments within the STARZPLAY product.”

Oleg Nesterenko, Chief Growth Officer, STARZPLAY

From onboarding new members of the STARZPLAY team via one-on-one sessions, to troubleshooting issues with specific media partners, AppsFlyer will continue to support STARZPLAY’s growth in the MENA region.

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