Rentrak Launches TV Ratings, Acquires Part Of Nielsen

By Andrew Gauthier 


Rentrak, one of the potential rivals to Nielsen’s dominance over the TV and video audience measurement business, is making some aggressive moves, including the launch of a local TV ratings business, and the acquisition of a division of Nielsen that services the major Hollywood studios.

The moves are the latest part of a transformation of Rentrak from a company that was originally created to track the box office sales and homevideo rentals of movies, to one with designs on the entire video marketplace.


But the core of Rentrak‘s strategy, and the one that differentiates it from a host of rivals – including TRA Analytics, TiVo, TNS, and others – all vying to compete with Nielsen. Like other companies aggregating census-level data from digital set-top television devices, Rentrak believes there is an untapped market among advertisers, agencies, and media companies for research based on giant databases, as opposed to the relatively small, but projectable samples managed by Nielsen. But the difference in Rentrak’s approach is its ability and willingness to integrate its TV viewing data with a wide array of other databases that give new insights on who is watching TV programming and advertising that goes well beyond the standard demographics offered by Nielsen Co. More…