Have you been contacted by an associate from Stream Research Group (also known as Stream by Alphasense) to record an interview with an analyst? Stream boasts that these calls can get your valuable exposure and help you land high-paying consulting calls with their clients…but unlike most expert networks, you won’t be paid for it. Learn if this is a legitimate opportunity, what to expect, and if participating is worthwhile in our Stream Research Group review.
What is Stream Research Group?
Stream Research Group is an expert network, a firm that specializes in sourcing subject matter experts for recorded interviews with industry analysts and short-term consulting engagements. Expert networks are a $2 billion industry that aids institutional investors and management consultants in making investment decisions, devising corporate strategies and developing new products. Expert network projects are most commonly a 1-hour phone consultation between the subject matter expert and the client.
Clients turn to expert networks like Stream Research Group to quickly perform first-hand research on products, companies or markets for the people who know them best, such as former employees, customers, vendors, competitors, or other key influencers. Working with expert networks is a great way to capitalize on your industry experience, enabling you to earn hundreds of dollars per hour by participating in concise and convenient consulting calls with their clients. While these calls are usually 1:1 between the expert and the client, Stream is one of several upstart expert networks that is building a library of recorded and transcribed expert interviews that is available to its entire roster of approximately 2,000 clients.
Stream was originally a product offering developed by Mosaic Research, a mid-tier expert network founded over a decade ago. Mosaic sold the Stream business to business information service AlphaSense in October 2021. (Don’t confuse AlphaSense with the large expert network AlphaSights).
New York-based Stream has recently used several names, including Stream Research Group, Stream by AlphaSense, Mosaic Stream, and Stream by Mosaic. Don’t be alarmed by these name changes – AlphaSense is a legitimate company and an invitation to participate in an interview with Stream is not a scam.
Mosaic continues to operate its traditional expert network business and is no longer connected to Stream.
What to expect on an analyst call with Stream Research Group
I was first invited to participate in an interview for Stream Research Group 2021 and was disappointed with my experience at that time.
Rather than speak with a Stream Research Group client, your call is instead with a third party analyst. The call is recorded and transcribed, then made available to Stream’s client base. The analyst that I recorded with call with was engaging and well-prepared; my conversation flowed like a typical expert network call. I was told that my name and exact title would be removed from the call and transcript to provide me with anonymity, though most clients could probably discern my identity within a few searches of LinkedIn and Google.
Experts usually are not paid for participating in Stream calls, though the analyst is compensated for interviewing you. According to the invitation I received from Stream, “This conversation with our partner analyst is intended to allow you to market your expertise to a group of Stream’s clients who value speaking with experts about [the target company and industry].” (Here’s why I’m not a fan of the expert network transcript library model in its current form.)
Stream’s associates have been disorganized across several interactions with them. In multiple instances, they have reached out to introduce me to Stream despite that I have already completed an assignment with the company. When I let them know that I have an experience and an existing profile with Stream, they seem unsure what to do with this information and want to again in engage in the onboarding process from the very beginning.
Perhaps because of the modest disarray, I didn’t receive any follow up updates from Stream following my first recorded interview. I wasn’t provided with access to the recording or transcript, don’t have any information on how Stream ‘marketed’ me as an expert, and several months passed before I was invited to participate in another project. My view is that I contributed a piece of specialized content to Stream’s high-priced transcript library without receiving any compensation or perceived benefit.
In addition, I’ve twice received outreach from associates who want to register me with Stream for a specific paid client call. When I respond that I already have a profile with Stream, the response has been, “I don’t want to waste your time with another intro call. We will be in touch as soon as we have a client interested in scheduling a call.”
Stream clearly has some work to do with their CRM system. As I’ve personally had this experience several times, it also raises questions if Steam is being a bit overly aggressive in building its expert database by reaching out about potential paid calls that aren’t yet on the books yet.
Stream is working at better serving experts
Since I first published this review – which included a recommendation to not participate in unpaid interviews with Stream – I have seen improvement in their treatment of consultants.
Shortly after publishing my review, an executive from Stream reached out to me to me to better understand my frustrations. He took feedback well, stated that Stream is striving to improve the value it provides to experts, and apologized for any bumpiness caused by the transition of the business from Mosaic to AlphaSense.
He stated that Stream does now offer compensation for initial analyst interviews in some cases, and is working to better promote experts and provides them access to its transcript library, and the Stream website has been updated to more clearly convey this. However, my recent interactions with Stream associates continue to be inefficient and a bit janky.
I would certainly give Stream another chance and work with them again, though I am not enthusiastic about creating valuable content for a high-paying subscriber base without cash compensation and continue to have some frustration with introductory outreach from a firm that I already have a relationship with.
Stream Research Group consulting rates
The typical expert network experience is to connect directly with a client for a roughly one hour long consulting call, at a high hourly rate. Things work differently at Stream.
Your initial experience will usually be a recorded interview with an expert analyst, typically an investment manager with deep experience in your industry. Your name will be removed from the recording and transcript to provide you with anonymity (though there are often enough clues for a curious client to figure out who you are) and it will be made available to Steam’s clients.
You usually won’t be paid for this initial call, though I do recommend that you ask for compensation. Stream will provide you with a shareable copy of your interview and free access to its transcript library of over 10,000 interview recordings and transcripts for three months. Clients who reviewed your interview may also connect with you via Stream for paid consulting calls, though it’s unclear how frequently this occurs.
While Stream generally does not pay for initial analyst interviews, this is not the standard industry practice. Tegus offers similar transcript subscription products where you are paid for all consulting calls. Many traditional expert networks, such as Guidepoint Global Advisors, produce a limited number of analyst interviews, and generally pay 1.5 – 2.0X of your regular hourly rate for participating in these recordings
Rates for consulting calls (or paid interviews) with Stream’s clients seem on par with most other expert networks. Your hourly rate is based on factors like your seniority and how recently you’ve held your relevant title, how hard it is to find an expert on the topic, and demand for your insight. In general, you can expect to be offered a Stream Research consulting rate of $100 – $200 per hour if you are a director level or below, $200 – $350 or above for director-level professional, and $500+ for senior executives and physicians.
Getting started with Stream Research Group
Stream adds to its content library every day, so you may have found this review after an associate reached out to you record an analyst interview or do a client call. You can also propose a topic to StreamRG, and if they think it will be of interest to their client base, they’ll match you with an analyst and record and distribute an interview with you. Though I’d like to see Stream provide compensation for all calls with experts, this may be a worthwhile route to bolster your personal brand or gain free access to Stream’s extensive transcript library.