Rentrak Courting MTVN Renewal, Revs Spike 21%


MTV Networks, which gave a boost to Rentrak's national TV measurement service with a 2010 deal to use its data, is no longer a client. Yet, Rentrak says negotiations continue on a possible renewal.

"We feel really good about our conversations with MTV, and we call it a renewal in progress," Rentrak CEO Bill Livek said on a call last week.

When the MTV deal was announced in March 2010, Rentrak said MTV Networks was the "first major cable group" to subscribe to its viewing data culled from set-top boxes.

MTVN is known for a relentless focus on research. When the deal was announced, its chief research executive Colleen Fahey Rush stated that Rentrak has the "most robust set-top-box data service available," even as entities such as Kantar and TRA have been in the market.

Livek indicated that the inability to reach a new agreement with MTVN is partly rooted in price. MTVN signed on when Rentrak was in an early stage with the TV Essentials product. Since then, Rentrak has bulked up its database through investments to acquire new streams.



"Part of these renewal cycles are difficult when you start integrating more information, and you want to get a price that you believe is appropriate," he said.

He also expressed optimism that MTVN would return because Rentrak is set to add demographic data on movie consumption behavior to its service that would be melded with viewing data. The movie category is a critical one for MTVN.

Even without MTVN, revenues for TV measurement were up 21% in the recent April-June quarter for Rentrak.

Rentrak, which in many cases provides lower-tier networks not rated by Nielsen with data, has a new deal with NBC Universal, providing it "advanced demographics" data that can be combined with viewing information for insight.

Rentrak says six of the largest 15 media-buying agencies now use its product.

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