Rentrak Extends CEO Livek Through 2015

Rentrak, the measurement company pushing into Nielsen's turf, has extended CEO Bill Livek's contract by two years to run until mid-2015, according to a government filing. Livek initially signed a four-year deal as he joined the company in mid-2009.

Livek received compensation valued at $3.04 million last year, according to Forbes.

Rentrak also has extended its deal with COO-CFO David Chemerow to run through September of 2015.

Livek has pushed Rentrak into TV measurement, notably with a system that uses set-top-box data to measure performance at local stations. Since late 2009, the company has signed deals with 27 station owners covering a combined 100 stations.

"Now that baby's going to scale," Livek said on a recent earnings call.

One reason, he indicated, is that the 27 owners Rentrak does business with together own about 300 more stations that the company could add to its client base.

One Rentrak pitch is that its set-top-box data offers stations information culled from many more viewers in a specific market than a Nielsen sample. Livek said there are some instances where the Nielsen sample is too small to pick up any viewing for a particular show. "No one, according to a sample currency, watches those programs," he said. "That's not tenable. We know that not to be true, and it provides a problem for these TV stations."

Rentrak also has a national network ratings service, where it says seven of the top-13 media-buying agencies receive its data. Recently, it added Carat as a client, while OMD began subscribing to a service that uses data from R.L. Polk and seeks to match car purchase behavior with ad exposure.

OMD also will become the first national agency to use exact commercial ratings, allowing the pinpointing of viewership for a specific spot, rather than a type of average, Livek said.

Rentrak is also teeing up data for political advertisers that seeks to show how programs "perform against swing voters," he said.

In the most recently completed quarter, Rentrak's TV business saw a 63% revenue increase to $2 million, although the overall company posted a loss on $21.9 million in revenue.

 Rentrak's shares closed Monday at $12.96, down from a 52-week high of about $31.

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