Rentrak Acquires Kantar’s U.S. TV Measurement Business

By Karen Fratti 

This morning, Rentrak rang the opening bell at NASDAQ in conjunction with the announcement of their deal with WPP’s GroupM and Kantar. The partnership will “inject Kantar Media’s U.S. television measurement business into Rentrak in exchange for $98 million of Rentrak common stock.” The deal is meant to be finalized by the end of the 2014 calendar year.

Rentrak will use Kantar Media’s U.S. digital measurements in its own local and national television measurements, boosting the competition in the measurement industry and according to Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan, “help accelerate adoption of audience/people-based buying and selling of TV ad inventory as complement to content-based buying and selling.”

Morgan notes that:

Irwin Gottlieb and Rino Scanzoni of Group M are right on target about how this kind of scaled viewing and purchase behavior data for targeting and measurement critical for future of TV ad business as audience fragmentation continues to accelerate.

Simulmedia, which sells targeted television campaigns using Kantar, Nielsen, and other data, sees the deal as a step in the right direction for everyone in the business:

We believe that this confirms the need for advertisers to use data to more precisely target people when they advertise on TV. This ‘census level’ or behavioral detail confirms what we believe: that digital thinking and fragmented audience force the industry to find greater depth to deliver business results…From a Simulmedia perspective, this deal continues to bring information to the agencies, but they still require media sellers to be able to act on it.

You can read the full release here.