Industry Thesis

Although we’ve tracked 30+ acquisitions and billions of dollars in investment capital flowing into the audio space over the past three years, we still believe this is a nascent industry in its early innings of growth. Not only are podcast advertising revenues projected to double between 2021 and 2024, but emerging distribution mediums like smart speakers and social audio signal new waves of growth and innovation on the horizon.

Testimonials

Case Studies

FilmNation

FilmNation Entertainment, one of the world’s preeminent independent entertainment companies, sought to diversify and complement its core film and ...

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XL Media

XL Media (LSE: XLMedia PLC) is a global performance publisher. It combines the power of people, data-driven behavioral insight, and captivating ...

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Team Coco / WarnerMedia

Team Coco is a digitally-native comedy brand, and a joint venture between Conan O’Brien and WarnerMedia. Entering 2020 Team Coco sought to ...

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Read Seat Ventures

Red Seat Ventures partners with talent, brands, and influencers to fund, build, and operate unique businesses. Founder and executive leadership ...

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At Will Media

At Will Media is an award-winning, full service podcast company. They are the go-to producer for innovative new audio formats, like the first ...

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FilmNation

FilmNation Entertainment, one of the world’s preeminent independent entertainment companies, sought to diversify and complement its core film and TV businesses by expanding into audio and digital, with the end goal of broadening its storytelling platform and driving additional enterprise value.

RockWater’s team dovetails incredibly sophisticated marketplace intelligence with an impressive, far-reaching network of leading professionals at nearly every top digital-focused company – with this powerful combination, they provide clients with invaluable strategic insights and guidance. Chris and the team helped us quickly identify and prioritize opportunity lanes for FilmNation as we expanded our global content platform into the digital space. We’d recommend them with the highest praise, in a heartbeat.

Milan Popelka, COO

Who to know

Milan Popelka

COO

XL Media

XL Media (LSE: XLMedia PLC) is a global performance publisher. It combines the power of people, data-driven behavioral insight, and captivating editorial content to build valuable connections between brands and consumers.

When we began looking for intelligence partners, we knew we wanted a group who would work with us as part of a team, not a vendor. We found exactly what we were looking for in RockWater. Starting from a very open place, they were comfortable with and capable of helping us identify and focus on the most advantageous areas of business for the group. The research they deliver is consistently contextual, actionable and valuable in driving strategic decisions and growth.

Elizabeth Carter, VP of Marketing and Taylor Quist, Head of Global Brand Strategy

Who to know

Elizabeth Carter

VP of Marketing

Taylor Quist

Head of Global Brand Strategy

Team Coco / WarnerMedia

Team Coco is a digitally-native comedy brand, and a joint venture between Conan O’Brien and WarnerMedia. Entering 2020 Team Coco sought to capitalize on incredible revenue and M&A market momentum. Their executive leadership required advisory to define their growth strategy and execution plan, board communications, and buy-side M&A diligence and valuation.

In my role as COO of Team Coco, when we decided we needed help strategizing and plotting new growth initiatives, RockWater was the first call I made.

Adam Sachs, COO

Who to know

Adam Sachs

COO

William Navarre

Sr. Director of BD & Revenue

Read Seat Ventures

Red Seat Ventures partners with talent, brands, and influencers to fund, build, and operate unique businesses. Founder and executive leadership sought investment targets for a Content x Commerce investor roll-up strategy, optimization of their user acquisition “funnel” across 6+ digital channels, and an audience and marketing forecast model.

RockWater delivers something few others can: unique perspective. Chris and his team analyze the complicated playing field and cut through the BS to deliver actionable insights that add immediate value. RockWater acts as an extension of my own team, adding a tool to our toolbox at the exact moment we need it.

Chris Balfe, Founder & Partner

Who to know

Chris Balfe

Founder & Partner

At Will Media

At Will Media is an award-winning, full service podcast company. They are the go-to producer for innovative new audio formats, like the first singing competition podcast series for Audible, and the original Siegfried & Roy series for Apple TV+. At Will also makes premium content for brand partners like the New York Times, Netflix, and Marriott Bonvoy. At Will is quickly growing their portfolio of premium scripted and non-fiction originals, and is included in the first audio slate ever featured at the TriBeCa Festival.

Who to know

Will Malnati

Founder & CEO

All Audio

The Audio Wars: No End In Sight

1H 2021 Celebration

16 Podcasts, 13 Writings, and Celebrating 1H 2021

The Duality of Social Audio: How will the landscape unfold?

Kevin Jones — Founder of Blue Wire on Getting Fired for a 49ers Tweet, $3.5 Million from WynnBet, and the Future of Sports Podcasts

Rise of Social Audio

The Duality of Social Audio: Leaning In While Leaning Back

Chris Ovitz — President at OK Play on Being a 3x Founder, Humble Leadership, and Reimagining Kids Screen Time

Audio M&A Watchlist

Aditi Dash — Partner at CircleUp on Surprise FDA Visits, Clubhouse, and Consumer Investing

2021 Predictions: 4 New Audio Buyers + Food Commerce Gets “Re-stacked”

From Attention to Passion. A Look Back at 2020.

Gretta Cohn — CEO of Transmitter Media on $7,000 of Startup Capital, Touring with Bright Eyes, and Making Beautiful Things

Interview with Christian Baesler, President of Complex Networks on German Village Life, Being a Touring DJ, Hot Sauce, and ComplexLand

How to Win the Next Frontier of Consumer Engagement with At-Home Audio (Part 2)

How 640 Million Smart Speakers by 2024 Will Reinvent At-Home Audio (Part 1)

Interview with Adam Sachs, COO of Team Coco on Podcasting with Conan O’Brien, Group Dating, and Selling Midroll Media

How “Player Empowerment” Will Unlock Billion-Dollar Sports Brands: The Rise of Athlete Podcasters (Part 2/2)

Sports Media Enters 3rd Wave: The Rise of Athlete Podcasters as the Next Billion-Dollar Brand Builders (Part 1/2)

11 Must-Read Articles for Nextgen Consumer Execs

Profits and Purpose: Crooked Media, Black Rifle Coffee, Ben & Jerry’s

Lessons from Call Her Daddy: IP, Food, Talent, Leadership

What Does Joe Rogan’s Exclusive Spotify Deal Signal for the Future of Podcasting?

Barstool Sports & The Ringer: Lessons About Growth

RockWater 2020 Predictions

Breaking Down SiriusXM Video vs. Spotify Video

Is Spotify Kids a Smart Growth Bet?