Cleveland based ad shop Wyse has signed a ratings contract agreement with Rentrak to measure Wyse's local TV buys in more than 50 markets. With the agreement, Wyse replaces its current sample-based measurement service -- believed to be Nielsen although the agency would not confirm that--in favor of Rentrak’s integrated system of detailed satellite, telecom and cable TV viewing information that is based on viewing data from millions of homes.
Word of the deal comes as the local TV ad measurement marketplace is in turmoil with Nielsen’s service coming under fire on a number of fronts. Just last week, Interpublic Group’s Mediabrands issued a report urging the local TV marketplace to shift from Nielsen’s traditional ratings service to “impressions-based trading.”
Nielsen has added fuel to the local ratings controversy by attempting to introduce a new “hybrid” measurement format that would among other things integrate broadband-only households into its local TV audience panels. Last week that effort was forestalled, at least temporarily, when the rating company bowed to pressure from major local TV clients and agreed to delay implementing the hybrid format.
Wyse believes the Rentrak service will enable it to better serve clients’ local TV measurement needs. “Rentrak’s advanced demographic ratings are a far more relevant metric for understanding the effectiveness of local television in reaching actual buyers,” versus the “traditional demographics produced by small samples of paid panelists,” said Susanne Brockman, Senior Vice President Director of Media, Wyse.
Rentrak works both sides of the buy/sell market. It has 290 local TV stations as clients, or 15% of the available 2,000. And 75 local ad agencies use Rentrak to buy TV in more than 100 markets.
“We built our system to be cohesive, coherent and representative and one that doesn't solely rely on size," of audience, says Steve Walsh, SVP Local TV Markets, Rentrak. "The number-one rated newscast may get more eyeballs, but the number three rated show may have a denser number of viewers that will buy your product,” he added.
“We are not asking what viewers plan to do or what they might buy, but we measure the behaviors and key demographic information of what the household actually does," says Walsh. Plus, Rentrak collects data from millions of homes -- it measures about one in 11 homes across the U.S., whereas there are about 35,000 Nielsen families in total.
As of now, more than half of Rentrak clients solely subscribe to Rentrak, while the others maintain dual subscriptions with Rentrak and a sample-based measurement provider such as Nielsen.
Founded in 1951, Wyse is an independent shop with full-service advertising, brand strategy, media planning & buying, sales promotion, collateral design, direct marketing, research and interactive services. It has over 30 regional, national and international clients including Papa John’s, Purrell, Moen, Marathon Petroleum and Parker Hannifin Corp.