Atmosphere is a streaming service that focuses on out-of-home streaming services that lift the mood in bars, restaurants, and other third spaces. The platform has over 60 free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels featuring short-form content that doesn’t require audio to enjoy, such as those from the PGA Tour and Trusted Media Brands. The service has experienced significant growth since its inception in 2019, doubling its customers in 2022, with a presence in nearly 50,000 locations and a reach of over 60 million unique monthly viewers. Recently, it received $65 million in a Series D round, which led to a $1 billion valuation for the company.
Atmosphere’s service brings addressability and targeting capabilities to new places for marketers, creating opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers in the places they frequent when not at home and near their point of transaction. Compared to traditional pay TV with the same ad load and programming that exists on the TV in the living room, Atmosphere allows advertisers to target by location, geography, time of day, or venue type, thereby bringing contextual advertising to life in an addressable capacity, in a way that traditional cable cannot.
The platform’s model is completely ad-based, which means that it doesn’t charge establishments and generates all its revenue from ad sales. Its location partners get self-serve advertising solutions and a video creation toolkit. Advertisers such as food and beverage, liquor, credit card service or rideshare apps, among others, are endemic to this type of streaming service, offering advantages of targeting in third location environments.
Atmosphere has over 60 free ad-supported streaming TV channels, providing a better experience for the audience. The service lives alongside traditional TV providers in sports bars where there are multiple screens, but in single TV locations such as doctor offices or auto stores, it can serve as a full replacement for programming. Atmosphere’s goal is to lift the mood and make out-of-home social settings and other places, such as gyms or dentists, enjoyable with easy-to-consume content. The company is adding around 5,000 new locations each month and adding “millions and millions” of new viewers each month, according to CEO Blake Sabatinelli.
Atmosphere faces competition from the likes of DirecTV and Comcast for Business, which already deliver traditional TV services to bars, restaurants, and other commercial locations. DirecTV for Business has reached a deal to serve up Apple’s MLS Season Pass in over 300,000 locations across the country. In places like sports bars where there are multiple screens, Atmosphere is a great complement to those competitors, whereas in single TV locations, it can serve as a full replacement for programming.
The advertising opportunities with Atmosphere are just scratching the surface, with possibilities that are much broader because of Atmosphere’s scale and reach, according to Chief Revenue Officer Ryan Spicer. The advertising possibilities include advertising on its Paws channel (one of Atmosphere’s highest-rated channels) at vet offices or ads for purified water on a TV at a gym. Making the OOH TV experience better is a key part of the business aim, as Spicer pointed to the common experience of waiting longer than expected for a doctor’s visit, where Atmosphere TV featuring audio-optional clips of cute pets could make the waiting room time a little more enjoyable.
Atmosphere’s model expands the definition of connected TV, taking all of the optionality and dynamic nature of connected TV, which was previously limited to the living room, and expanding it outside the living room. Atmosphere’s biggest advantage is its biggest challenge, being a category of one at the moment, according to Spicer. However, the team is feeling excited about momentum and sees Atmosphere as a distinct opportunity for advertisers who are looking for a unique way to reach consumers in third spaces. With its growing number of locations and viewers, Atmosphere is poised to revolutionize out-of-home advertising and provide a better viewing experience for consumers in various settings. As the platform continues to add new locations and viewers, it will be interesting to see how advertisers take advantage of its targeting capabilities and expand their reach in third space environments. With its recent Series D funding round and $1 billion valuation, Atmosphere is clearly on the path to success and has the potential to disrupt the traditional TV advertising landscape.