Testimonials

Case Studies

ViacomCBS / Paramount

We specifically hired Chris and his team to support competitive landscape analysis, market intelligence and growth planning for branded ad sales ...

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Google

Content and advertiser leadership sought to improve premium video integration opportunities for client partners. Conducted market research and ...

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Spacetoon

Spacetoon Group is a premier MENA media and entertainment conglomerate with operations and distribution across over 20 countries. Their business ...

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FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz is the world's most renowned specialty kids toy manufacturer and retailer. Since being founded over 160 years ago, the company has ...

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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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American Public Media

American Public Media is a producer and distributor of award-winning public radio programming and podcasts. Their mission is to create the future ...

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Orca

Orca is a complete livestream and social commerce solution that has produced thousands of hours of shoppable content, leading to millions of ...

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portal A logo

Portal-A

PORTAL A is an award-winning branded and original content company. The company's accolades include being named Agency of the Year by The Streamys...

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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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Red 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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Atmosphere

Atmosphere is a free multi-channel TV streaming service with content designed for businesses offering 51 original and partner TV channels. ...

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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 ...

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Prism Labs

At Prism Labs, the cutting edges of computer vision, machine learning, depth cameras, and human physiology are being fused into powerful software ...

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ViacomCBS / Paramount

We specifically hired Chris and his team to support competitive landscape analysis, market intelligence and growth planning for branded ad sales solutions – as we better understood his broader capability set, we expanded our engagement to include new IP incubation ideas, IP valuation and more. I highly recommend RockWater to any client in need of sharp and actionable strategy advisory.

Thomas De Napoli, Sr. Director of Viacom Velocity

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Thomas De Napoli

Sr. Director of Viacom Velocity

Google

Content and advertiser leadership sought to improve premium video integration opportunities for client partners. Conducted market research and peer benchmarking of premium branded content initiatives by major social video platforms to inform future planning and new inventory development.

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Mary Healy

Global Content Innovation Lead

Spacetoon

Spacetoon Group is a premier MENA media and entertainment conglomerate with operations and distribution across over 20 countries. Their business units consist of a flagship linear TV channel, SVOD streaming service, theatrical distributor, mobile and console game publisher, CPG manufacturing and distribution, and O&O events exhibition. They are trusted as the exclusive MENA licensee for leading kids & family IP including: Cocomelon, Ryan’s World, Naruto, Dragon Ball Super, Hello Kitty, Blippi, Hapee Capee, and more.

 

Spacetoon executive leadership engaged RockWater to develop a business plan for acquiring international kids and family IP.

 

The RockWater team was an invaluable resource. They provided us with a comprehensive framework to identify best fit acquisition targets, and then built us a custom business plan to operationalize their recommendations. They felt like a natural extension of our team, despite being located on the complete opposite side of the world. They’ve also been very helpful with introducing us to western IP rights holders. We’d be happy to work with them again

Kamal Weiss, General Director

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Kamel Weiss

General Director at Spacetoon

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz is the world’s most renowned specialty kids toy manufacturer and retailer. Since being founded over 160 years ago, the company has transformed into an omnichannel brand across brick & mortar, wholesale, and web and social commerce. The company is owned by ThreeSixty Group, which owns and operates 5+ global consumer brands including Vornado and Sharper Image.

To plan FAO’s digital transformation, we needed an expert team who understood how parents and kids are spending their time and money online, which is powering new direct-to-consumer business models for toy retailers. RockWater was a great bolt-on partner to us and facilitated outlining an exciting new growth strategy for FAO Schwarz.

 

Jan-Eric Kloth, President, International Sales, Retail, & Corporate Strategy at ThreeSixty Group

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Jan-Eric Kloth

President, International Sales, Retail and Corporate Strategy at ThreeSixty Group

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

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Adam Sachs

COO

William Navarre

Sr. Director of BD and Revenue

American Public Media

American Public Media is a producer and distributor of award-winning public radio programming and podcasts. Their mission is to create the future of public media by amplifying voices to inform, include, and inspire.

 

APM programming can be heard on nearly 1,000 public radio stations and reaches 17 million listeners each week, and our suite of podcasts delivers over 18 million downloads every month.

 

APM engaged RockWater to improve the structure and processes of its podcasting ad sales team.

 

“In a fast-changing media landscape, RockWater is a pivotal partner. They help executives navigating an increasingly fragmented digital media ecosystem sift through the ocean of information impacting the present and future of the industry, providing valuable insights that inform strategic business decisions and drive sustainable growth.”

 

 

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Thomas De Napoli

Chief Strategy Officer

Orca

Orca is a complete livestream and social commerce solution that has produced thousands of hours of shoppable content, leading to millions of product sales. Orca is platform-agnostic, delivering shoppable content across all major social media platforms, brand-owned DTC sites and everywhere else content is published online. Orca has worked with leading consumer brands and retailers, including Estee Lauder, Zappos, Samsung, and Amazon.

 

 

Orca’s founders tapped RockWater to deep dive into their operating performance and determine key insights .

 

 

I’ve crossed paths with Chris many times over my two decades working in digital media, and have always appreciated his thoughtful approach to solving complex problems. Orca grew extremely fast in 2023. We engaged Rockwater to evaluate our performance, sift through massive troves of data, and provide insights and recommendations on optimizing our operations. Their work helped us to continue on our growth trajectory without missing a beat. They’re a valuable partner I’d absolutely work with again

Max Benator, Co-Founder & CEO

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Max Benator

Co-Founder and CEO

Portal-A

PORTAL A is an award-winning branded and original content company. The company’s accolades include being named Agency of the Year by The Streamys, Video Agency of the Year by Digiday, and a Top 20 Content Creator by AdWeek. Its clients include Google, Amazon, Target, Disney, MLB, and Snapchat. The company’s founders engaged RockWater to evaluate both its existing and new planned business lines within branded and original content. The strategy assignment resulted in a new investment and resource plan, to help drive revenue growth and accelerate new market entry.

RockWater was a great executive ally. They took time to understand our growth needs, created a custom workplan, and executed with precision. Their recommendations were data-based and actionable, and are now part of our operating plan. RockWater also brought good energy to our org, which helped get team buy-in. We look forward to working with them again.

Zach Blume, Co-Founder and President at Portal-A

 

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Zach Blume

Co-Founder, President

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

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Elizabeth Carter

VP of Marketing

Taylor Quist

Head of Global Brand Strategy

Red 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

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Chris Balfe

Founder & Partner

Atmosphere

Atmosphere is a free multi-channel TV streaming service with content designed for businesses offering 51 original and partner TV channels. Atmosphere offers an incredibly powerful advertising medium where brands can develop contextualized advertising campaigns with highly targeted delivery by venue-type, geography, or content channel type. The platform was developed using proprietary content, technology, and data to deliver unparalleled experiences for businesses, consumers, and advertisers. The business was incubated within Chive Media Group and spun out in 2019.

Chris and the RockWater team gave us the exact leverage we were looking for in an advisor. The team brings deep industry perspective, thoughtful frameworks, and a strong network of relationships.

Mike Grisko, CFO

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Mike Grisko

CFO

Eric Spielman

CSO

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

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Milan Popelka

COO

Alyssa Martino

VP of Podcasts

Prism Labs

At Prism Labs, the cutting edges of computer vision, machine learning, depth cameras, and human physiology are being fused into powerful software solutions that will transform the fitness and wellness industries and lead the way towards the reliable and robust capture of human performance in the metaverse.

 

Prism Labs is built by a team of experts in a variety of fields that have come together to push the limits of what is possible in 3D human reconstruction. The company has offices in Vienna and Graz, Austria and Los Angeles, CA. The company’s leadership engaged RockWater to help them evaluate strategic go-to-market and capital allocation decisions.

Prism Labs isn’t a media company, but having worked with Chris closely in the past I jumped at the chance to use his advisory services to help us evaluate some strategic options. With RockWater you can count on thoughtful, flexible, diligent and extremely capable support. RockWater’s strong positive culture shines through with every interaction.

Steve Raymond, CEO 

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Steve Raymond

Chief Executive Officer

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