In a move that will provide growing competition to larger rivals like Nielsen, Rentrak, the U.S.-based film and television measurement company, is acquiring WPP’s Kantar Media's U.S. TV measurement business for $98 million in Rentrak stock.
Terms of the agreement call for WPP to also purchase Rentrak shares, for $56 million in cash, which will give the London-based holding company a final ownership stake of 16.7 percent.
Rather than just provide marketers with mass audience viewing numbers, Rentrak will integrate its national and local TV measurement numbers with Kantar’s U.S. stats about digital media and purchases. (No Kantar TV measurement or global development capabilities outside of the U.S. are affected by the transaction.)
WPP’s GroupM media division, which manages $105 billion in media billings globally and oversees agencies like Mindshare, MediaCom, MEC and Maxus, will use Rentrak’s TV measurement services in the U.S.
"Integrating consumer data with granular TV viewing requires a broad database to measure consistency and predictability,” said Rino Scanzoni, GroupM's North American chief investment officer, in a statement. “Utilizing Rentrak data will be strategically important as we further refine TV targeting to deliver more precision and accountability, increasing the medium's effectiveness and value to our clients."