CommsCon: A behind-the-scenes look at Cision’s acquisition of Aussie mediatech company Streem

Media monitoring and intelligence company Streem began as a start-up in 2017, and was sold five years later to a major global PR company. Now, the platform is being rolled out in every major market across the world. Antoine Sabourin, co-founder and former CTO, explained how that happened.

Speaking at Mumbrella CommsCon on Wednesday morning, Sabourin, who is now vice president of engineering at CisionOne, was joined on stage by Cision’s Conal Hanna, associate vice president of global media data.

Sabourin and Hanna on stage at CommsCon this morning

Once upon a time, Streem was “just an idea being bounced around by two people”, and as the market had only one large media monitoring company, there was not much incentive to innovate.

“There was some frustration, and there was an opportunity to build something better,” Sabourin explained.

“So we did exactly that. That’s how we got started.”

In 2022, the company was 100% sold to Cision, a global communications intelligence company.

Significant benefits from Cision’s global position flowed to Streem’s local customers, as the Australian and New Zealand market continued to receive the same local support and expertise from the platform.

Cision, which has nearly 5,000 staff across 24 countries, was already active in Australia and New Zealand with its PR Newswire, Brandwatch and brands, but the acquisition of Streem added a full-suite of media monitoring and analysis capabilities that gives both local and global customers interested in ANZ coverage access to a significantly enhanced service.

A cultural backbone of the company, that was particularly important during the acquisition, was its collaborative approach to work, and how the team can grow altogether, according to Sabourin.

“Absolutely that was a priority, being collaborative and ensuring that continued under the new ownership,” he said.

“I encouraged everyone to be in the same room, to learn from each other… We always felt like to deliver the product and to innovate at a pace we knew we could do, the whole business needed to work together.”

He said while big ideas and roadmaps were the big picture goal during the acquisition, it was equally important to make everything one per cent better every day, and care for each other every day.

“Even during Covid, we encouraged that behaviour,” Sabourin continued. “We told people to work together productively, and tried to build as good a work environment as we could under those circumstances.”

He said a lot of Streem’s success comes from being in the right place at the right time, but also acknowledged the hard work his team has spent the last seven years doing.

“The emerging market was quite good to us, because we were able to find our way next to the major players, but that wouldn’t have been possible without the passion of our team.”


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