Streaming Place-based TV Spin-out Atmosphere Adds Canada, Australia and New Zealand To Service Coverage

October 12, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Austin-based streaming TV for business service Atmosphere is expanding beyond its U.S. operations, opening up new markets in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Austin-based company, which has a series of OTT streaming short-form TV channels geared to place-based media environments like restaurants, bars, gyms, hotels and doctors’ offices. The company says it already has a footprint in some 15,000 venues.

The two-year-old spinout from Chive Media Group recently announced a $25 million Series B funding round to help make this kind of growth happen.

To lead the new international push, says PR, Atmosphere has hired former Facebook and TikTok executive John Smolen to serve as Director of International Business Development. Smolen comes to Atmosphere from TikTok, where he was the entertainment, experiences, and travel industry lead. Earlier, he served as the Industry Manager for entertainment and media at Facebook, where he built and led the team responsible for Facebook’s largest entertainment accounts, including ViacomCBS, Spotify, Warner Media, and The New York Times. Smolen was also part of the team that launched Facebook advertising in the Philippines. 

The company will be hiring sales people and opening offices in both Canada and Australia. Atmosphere aims to have six to eight employees across both markets by end of year. In 2022 Atmosphere plans to significantly expand its international footprint, expecting to add 20-30 members to its team outside the US. In addition to Canada and Australia, the company is currently running a pilot program in Latin America and the United Kingdom, for possible expansion in the future.

“With an emphasis on visuals over audio and channels designed for every audience, Atmosphere is ideal for international expansion,” says Smolen. “Having worked at global platforms like Facebook and TikTok, I can see the same potential in Atmosphere, and I’m excited to be leading our growth efforts in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond to make Atmosphere available truly everywhere.”

Not sure I would be making noise about Facebook ties lately, but …

Atmosphere says it “streams an aggregate of more than 250,000 hours of programming per day across 54 channels of both owned and partner content, reaching over 48 million visits every month. Atmosphere retail clients include Westin, Hilton, McDonald’s, and thousands of other businesses of all sizes. Atmosphere provides venues with TV hardware and programming for free, monetizing its content through its proprietary advertising platform and paid subscriptions, allowing venues to run their own ads during programming breaks.”

The main attraction here is to have content running on screens in venues that is more than just local news or national news and/or sports services. In places like bars, keeping people entertained with curated content, and ordering another round of drinks or appetizers, is money.

This will likely raise some eyebrows around the offices of Stringray in Montreal, which does streaming audio for business and has a digital signage business aimed at retail. I don’t THINK the company does much in the way of streaming video other than fireplace, aquarium and naturescape/sunsets at the beach long-form videos.

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