Rentrak Enhances STB Data

Rentrak is enhancing its national and local TV services by adding consumer information from Experian Simmons. The new service announced Wednesday (July 7) links Rentrak’s TV set-top-box data from 17 million TV sets to 60,000 consumer variables, including purchase behavior, lifestyle and life stage consumer information collected by Experian’s survey of 25,000 adults.

Rentrak is the third research firm, joining TRA and Nielsen Catalina Ventures, to combine product purchase data with TV ratings, a sign that TV ratings alone just aren’t enough in today’s accountability driven media economy.

“This makes TV data more actionable,” said Bill Livek, CEO of Rentrak. “It helps advertisers, agencies and stations understand the purchase behavior of households, or target by lifestyle.”

The service is available as an option as part of Rentrak’s TV Essentials and StationView Essentials services, for an additional fee.

The competition among research firms to bring new dimensions to TV ratings is heating up.
TRA’s two-year-old service, which marries set top box data to 54 million households participating in shopper loyalty programs, has already gained some traction in the marketplace, signing up MediaVest and GroupM, which account for about 45 percent of all media buys, as well as a handful of cable and broadcast networks, and 35 consumer products goods brands.

In December, Nielsen announced its joint venture with Catalina Marketing to link Nielsen’s national TV and online panels with Catalina’s 50-million consumer shopper database. The JV has missed its originally announced deadline to offer the first research services in the first half of the year.