Meltwater review (2024): Just media monitoring, or more?

Meltwater review (2024): Just media monitoring, or more?

We look at Meltwater's features, pricing, and alternatives to see how it stacks up.

When thinking of PR software platforms, Meltwater are often one of the first to spring to mind. Founded in 2001, they’re a true industry vet with over 30,000 corporate customers globally. 

You may have already checked out the Meltwater reviews offered by users on review platforms like G2 and Capterra. Whilst they’re fairly solid, they may not have the answers to all of your questions. 

Our review of Meltwater is based on a methodical approach and uses our practical experience and knowledge of dozens of other simple and advanced PR tools. 

So what do you need to know?

Table of contents

Where Meltwater stands out

Meltwater offers one of the most powerful media monitoring tools available. While they boast a full suite of other tools you can use, it’s their media monitoring solutions that really make Meltwater stand out. 

Here are some of features that come with their media monitoring tool (and why they’re useful):

  • Global media monitoring: Allows you to track news and social media worldwide. Great for understanding your international brand awareness
  • Sentiment analysis: Measures your online brand perception. Great for understanding the public’s view of your brand
  • Benchmark performance: Compares your media performance against competitors. Great for nailing down your market positioning
  • Comprehensive media analysis with custom reporting: Offers detailed media analysis and reporting. Great for assessing the ROI of your media strategy

The power of Meltwater’s media monitoring tools is particularly useful for PR teams working with larger brands that need to keep an eye on social mentions and have a deeper understanding of public perception. The downside is that, while extensive, the rest of their suite doesn’t stand out as strongly amongst competitors, but more on that below. 

Using Meltwater with Prezly

If you work with a large brand, or are an SMB receiving frequent coverage, then Meltwater could be just what you need. To help you get the best of both worlds, we’ve developed a native Meltwater RSS integration into Prezly’s coverage tracker

This integration lets you instantly log any coverage tracked by Meltwater, then directly action those insights through our PR CRM, outreach tools, and press release creator.

Prezly's Coverage feature lets you relate brand mentions to your newsroom and CRM.
Prezly's Coverage feature lets you relate brand mentions to your newsroom and CRM.

How it works: 

  1. Reach out to our support team and we’ll set up the integration for you
  2. Go to your coverage page. You should now start seeing Meltwater alerts populate
  3. On this page, you can see all of your coverage as well as the who, what, where, and when of it
  4. Directly link any coverage that stands out to a story, site, and/or contact
  5. Continue building relationships with outlets and journalists knowing they’ve already shown interest in your brand

Recommended reading: How to Improve Media Relations with Prezly's PR CRM

Prezly – software for modern PR teams

  • Write & publish brand stories in an online newsroom

  • Send email campaigns, pitches & newsletters

  • Manage all your contact lists in a single CRM, with easy import & export

  • Measure performance to see who's engaging with your stories

Meltwater review summary

  • Meltwater is ideal for experienced PR pros who see media monitoring as a priority
  • Its features might be overwhelming for those who simply wish to track basic media coverage
  • Meltwater offers a full suite of products along with their media monitoring. This includes tools to help you with: journalist outreach, analytics, social media management, influencer marketing, and more
  • You can choose between different packages: Essentials, Advanced, Suite, or Enterprise. They’re not publicly shared, but most often, prices are reported to start at an estimated $12,000/yr

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at this Meltwater review:

Meltwater screenshots

Meltwater pricing

Here’s a basic overview on each plan Meltwater offers and what they come with: 

  • Essentials: Basic media monitoring & analysis tools
  • Advanced: Sophisticated analysis tools and dashboards; unlimited search features
  • Suite: Access to the tools in Meltwater’s suite with access to advanced analytics & insights across channels
  • Enterprise: Unified datasets, AI-driven insights, and ROI-oriented services 

Getting a real, tangible price point for Meltwater has proven itself to be very difficult without going through their sales process first. From past research, their users have reported that pricing starts at an average of $1,000/user per month

Since Meltwater requires annual contract commitments, this pricing pans out to look more like $12,000/user per year when all is said and done. It goes without saying that this is a hefty price to pay for any software. 

If your brand doesn’t receive enough coverage to justify the need or cost for such a mature solution, you can still manually log coverage with Prezly’s Premium plan. This only costs $140/user/month and comes loaded with every feature we have to offer. Meaning, you can keep the extra money saved, or spend it on higher-ROI activities. The choice is yours.

Meltwater pros & cons

Pros

✅ Extremely powerful media monitoring: One of the best media monitoring tools out there. This key feature of Meltwater not only allows you to monitor unlimited keywords, but you also get access to deeper features like sentiment analysis, volume spike detection, and custom mention scoring.

✅ Thorough reporting: Offers custom reporting on all areas related to your PR KPIs. From the app, you can make interactive dashboards. If you need something extra complex, they also have a team of analysts you can hire for help.

✅ All-in-one PR platform: If you buy their full-suite, Meltwater can act as an all-in-one PR platform for your team. Enabling you to manage all of your PR work from one place. 

Cons

❌ Steep learning curve: While common with complex solutions, Meltwater’s learning curve is known to be specifically steep. Often, getting set up won’t be possible without some initial hand-holding from their onboarding team.

❌ Hidden pricing: No matter how hard you search their site, you will not find a concrete price for Meltwater. Instead, you need to contact them for a quote. A dated practice that we don’t believe in or follow ourselves at Prezly.

❌ Complex interface: The variety of tools and solutions in Meltwater’s suite comes at a cost. Namely, their interface is overwhelming and hard to navigate, making it take longer than you’d like to get any PR work done from it.

❌ Missing features: Even considering their expansive suite, Meltwater misses some features that we think are essential for a modern PR team to have. The biggest one is their lack of any site, newsroom, or press release creator. An essential in helping your brand’s press stand out online. 

Is Meltwater the right PR tool for you?

✅ You’re serious about media monitoring

If you have an extensive amount of media coverage and mentions coming your way, and need a tool to stay on top of them and gain insights from, Meltwater is a good option. You’ll be in great hands with their media monitoring solution being one of the most comprehensive available.

✅ You work at a large, global brand with an equally large PR budget

With Meltwater’s pricing being “$$$$” levels of expensive, it only really makes sense to go with them if A) your budget can handle it and B) you get enough coverage to expect a positive ROI. 

❌ Media monitoring isn’t your top priority

Is media monitoring one of those things you feel like you need to have, but aren’t necessarily itching for quite yet? If that’s the case, then Meltwater probably isn’t the best tool for your needs.

❌ You’re looking for the best all-in-one PR platform

While paying for their ‘Suite’ plan will give you access to Meltwater’s full ‘all-in-one PR platform’ suite, there are much better options out there if finding an all-in-one PR platform is your goal.

Note: To get a better idea of what an all-in-one PR platform should look like, consider Prezly (which we purposefully created as an all-in-one tool). Built right into it are a PR CRM, analytics, outreach tools, and site builder that are all designed to seamlessly work across one another. This keeps your PR workflow always feeling connected (not disjointed like Meltwater users report).

❌ You don’t know if it’ll provide a positive ROI

At the high price tag (and annual contract commitment) we suggest being 100% certain that Meltwater will provide a positive ROI before signing up. Not sure what PR metrics to consider while figuring this out? I recommend you take a look at our guide on the top PR metrics to measure.

❌ You’re not sure

Unfortunately, there’s no free trial, and with annual plans being their only option, they don’t give you many paths for assessing whether it’s right for you.

Rating details

Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐

While not as clunky as other industry vets like Cision, Meltwater’s interface still leaves room for improvement. This is especially true when using their full suite product (having access to everything can feel overwhelming and disjointed). Generally, the consensus has been that getting comfortable with Meltwater requires help from their onboarding team. But, once you’ve been onboarded, the tool becomes much easier to get a hang of.

PR distribution & outreach ⭐⭐⭐

Meltwater leans on their integration with popular wire service, Newswire, for distribution. While not as wide reaching as other newswire tools like PR Newswire, this still gives you access to over 100 newslines across local, national, and global audiences. As for outreach, they provide a standard outreach tool to let you get in touch with any of your media contacts. Nothing unique or incredibly innovative, but more than enough to get the job done.

Recommended reading: 4 reasons to choose Prezly vs a wire service (like Newswire)

Media monitoring & analytics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

We may as well call this category “bread & butter” for Meltwater. It’s been mentioned more than a few times already, but once again, Meltwater offers one of the most robust media monitoring and analytics solutions on the market. If that’s specifically what you’re looking for, you’ve found it here.

Media database & CRM ⭐⭐⭐

Built into Meltwater’s suite is their own media database with ~450,000 contacts. While smaller than the lists of other tools like Cision (~850,000 contacts), the convenience of having it directly in the tool may be worth the convenience for you. Also part of this database is their Relationship Management Platform that lets you track outreach progress with contacts (i.e. a CRM). 

Recommended reading: 3 reasons PR pros choose Prezly vs buying email lists

Press release, newsrooms & site creator ⭐

It currently isn’t possible to create your press releases, newsrooms, or sites with Meltwater. For these features, you’ll need a different tool (like Prezly). 

Recommended reading: Use Prezly to set up a story in 5 minutes flat

Pricing ⭐

Trying to find Meltwater’s pricing is like a tourist trying to find their way around London for the first time: impossible without asking for help. Once you do finally get your hands on a concrete price, expect it to be incredibly high. From what users have told us, you’ll generally be looking to spend at least $12,000/user for an annual license

Customer support ⭐⭐⭐

Meltwater offers customer support across phone, email, and chat, making them super accessible. However, accessible doesn’t always mean helpful. Generally, we’ve found that their support quality can be a mixed bag – sometimes great, other times lacking. 

Conclusion

So do we recommend Meltwater?

As this Meltwater review highlights, our recommendation really relies on two questions: 1) how big your company (and budget)? And 2) How important is media monitoring to your team and strategy?

With its range of features, Meltwater is a decent enough tool for most PR pros. But, their subscription plans are expensive compared to similar PR tools. We recommend you check out this Meltwater alternatives post before making your final decision.

The media monitoring tools are really what standout for Meltwater. You can monitor an unlimited amount of keywords across social media, TV & radio, global news, print, and podcasts while receiving real-time alerts. This is really their core advantage. One that’s specifically beneficial for large brands with too much awareness to ever manually track their mentions.

If you don’t have a massive software budget, have a specific PR need that isn’t media monitoring, and/or are in the market for an all-in-one platform, we suggest trying out our 14-day free trial at Prezly before making the leap to Meltwater. We don’t have any contracts or commitments and have deliberately made pricing accessible for nearly all PR budgets (starts at $50/month). 

I hope you’ve found this Meltwater review helpful. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!

FAQs

Is Meltwater GDPR-compliant?

While Meltwater generally suggests they’re GDPR compliant, by offering a purchasable media contact database, they inherently are not. This is just one reason (among many others) why we do not provide, or support the use of media databases. Learn more on why by reading our article on 3 reasons PR pros choose Prezly vs buying email lists.

How much does Meltwater cost?

From our research, we estimate Meltwater to have a starting cost of around $1,000 per user per month. This roughly translates to a starting price of $12,000 per user per year. 

What is Meltwater known for?

Meltwater can be used for anything for PR teams from media monitoring to journalist outreach. However, they’re mostly known for (and we suggest using them for) their media monitoring and analytics tools.

Why choose Meltwater?

Choose Meltwater if you’re a large brand looking for a robust media monitoring, analytics, and insights solution. 

Is Meltwater free?

No. Currently, Meltwater does not offer any free products. While their pricing is not publicly available, we estimate Meltwater to have a starting cost of $12,000 per user per year. 

Is Meltwater easy to use?

Generally speaking, yes. Meltwater is known for having a nice-to-use interface. However, it’s been reported that there is still a bit of a learning curve to it due to the platform’s complexity.

Top 7 Meltwater competitors (2024)
Top 7 Meltwater competitors (2024)

Compare Meltwater features, reviews, and pricing with its foremost alternatives.

Meltwater alternatives

With the PR software space being fairly large and well-established, there are plenty of excellent Meltwater alternatives to consider. To keep things simple, here’re our favorites in the categories of: media monitoring tools, and all-in-one PR platforms.

Mention is a powerful (yet budget-friendly) media monitoring tool. While not as extensive as Meltwater, it is a perfect fit if you are a smaller company simply looking to get a grasp on your brand mentions. Pricing starts at $41/month.

Prezly was built by our team to be the ultimate all-in-one tool for PR professionals. We’ve dedicated our time (and love) towards building a platform that is equally good at getting results as it is enjoyable to use. Wrapped into one clean and modern interface, you’ll find a dedicated PR CRM, analytics, outreach tools, a site builder, and much much more. Try Prezly out with our 14-day free trial. 

Still not sure which is the right newsletter tool for you? Read our guide on the 26 Best Digital PR Tools (including Monitoring)

 

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