The phrase “streaming wars” was initially coined to describe the fierce competition among subscription-based media companies such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video in their turf grabs to grab consumer attention and entertainment dollars. In research published in January of 2020, millennials had 17 paid entertainment and media subscriptions each on average with the pandemic only driving more adoption. Despite the popularity of the subscription economy, there’s been a lack of actionable, available benchmarks to gauge consumer interest and behavior. ANTENNA has built the platform that provides market-level information (competitive intelligence) on subscription metrics including growth and churn across the subscription media ecosystem. Currently, ANTENNA focuses on video, audio, and digital media market share but plans to expand to other consumer subscription verticals including gaming, publishing, health & wellness, education, etc.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Rameez Tase to learn more about how ANTENNA provides transparency to the subscription economy, the company’s future plans, and recent funding round.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a $4.2M Seed round from Raine Ventures as well as an amazing group of Angels including a series of Media and Tech executives and founders.
We provide competitive intelligence on all key purchase and subscription metrics (Gross Adds, Churn Rate, etc) to the market. This allows them to understand whether they’re doing well or poorly — and make more educated strategic decisions around pricing, distribution, and so on.
What inspired the start of ANTENNA?
We founded ANTENNA based on one simple observation – the way consumers spend their entertainment dollars in a digital world will be strikingly different. Previously, distribution was guaranteed via “retailers” such as cable bundles or even malls. Today, consumer entertainment companies – and consumer companies, more broadly – must fight for distribution. That entails a totally different set of success metrics than viewership or consumption. Today’s companies must focus on purchase behavior like Sign-ups, Churn Rate, Retention, and so on — and we built ANTENNA to provide those metrics, at a market level, to the industry.
How is ANTENNA different?
We are built for industry operators, by industry operators. Our intent when we formed ANTENNA was to solve a problem Jonathan (Jonathan Carson, cofounder) and I had both faced – the lack of available benchmarks on metrics that actually mattered with any level of accuracy. Our analytics go much deeper than anything else on the market (e.g. you can cohort just about anything) and are much more accurate.
What market does ANTENNA target and how big is it?
ANTENNA started with a focus on the Streaming Media industry but has since grown to the entire Subscription Media business and, eventually, will serve consumer subscriptions at-large. The global subscription market is projected to be $1 trillion by 2024, with the global Subscription Analytics market making up billions of that market.
What’s your business model?
Our customers subscribe to our data on a recurring basis — we also provide insights & analytics on top of that to ensure our customers are getting 100% of the value from the data.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
COVID’s been a challenge for just about everyone except maybe Zoom. Uncertainty, budget freezes, corporate reorgs — even if they’re at our customers, not us — is never easy. That said, we feel extremely fortunate that the business we chose was largely a “tailwind business” for COVID-19.
What was the funding process like?
Well, we started in March 2020, just before… well you know what happened. And we got just as many “no’s” as every other entrepreneur who’s been through this will tell you. And then we got some more due to market uncertainty! The saying about “short memory” is certainly true.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
We made some intentional decisions when we started our business based on what we believed was right for our customers. We didn’t launch an online analytics platform from day 1. We focused on enterprise customers right away, rather than the typical ladder-up strategy. We bet that the market was underserved from a depth point of view, rather than simply a breadth of customers. These aren’t always typical B2B SaaS decisions — but they were some that we still believe were the right ones. We knew that the right partners would understand why we made these decisions and stayed committed — and we’re excited that it worked out!
It’s that time of year again!
Nominations are now open for AlleyWatch’s 2021 NYC Tech Influencers feature.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
I’ll let them speak for themselves: Gordon Rubenstein, Managing Partner at Raine Ventures, says, “ANTENNA’s measurement data is unrivaled in the market, and in a short time, the company has become the new industry standard in subscription data. Any modern subscription business would benefit from ANTENNA’s insights.”
Gordon Rubenstein, Managing Partner at Raine Ventures, says, “ANTENNA’s measurement data is unrivaled in the market, and in a short time, the company has become the new industry standard in subscription data. Any modern subscription business would benefit from ANTENNA’s insights.”
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We will use this funding to support some pretty ambitious plans: to launch online client tools; to expand our coverage into new subscription categories like Gaming, Audio, Publishers, Health & Wellness, Education, and others; to launch solutions to analyze the role of content & advertising on driving subscriptions, and much more.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Focus on getting customers. It’s so easy to sit in a room brainstorming what will work and won’t, what you should do, and so on. Nothing brings clarity of purpose like a paying customer asking you to provide something.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
ANTENNA wants to be the trusted standard in measurement for all subscription and purchase metrics. We believe that operators can make better decisions with more transparent data when focused on the correct success metrics.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
I’ll take some liberties with this and give you our neighborhood brewery — Fifth Hammer in Long Island City — which should be world-renowned.
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