'This Is A Test...' Zenith Using Rentrak As Currency In Some Markets Only

Days after announcing it will use Rentrak as its “local TV currency,” Publicis’ Zenith Media unit now says it is only a test that will take place in three local TV markets. Based on those results, the agency says it may or may not adopt Rentrak as its negotiating currency in other local TV markets.

“We are not doing the switch 100% right now,” Zenith Optimedia Chief Data Officer Rob Jayson clarified, adding that while the agency is optimistic the switch to Rentrak’s TV audience ratings will represent an improvement over Nielsen’s, it won’t adopt Rentrak as its official currency in other markets until clients have had a chance to evaluate and vet results.

“We are still working with Zenith,” a Nielsen spokesperson told MDN Monday following a report in Friday’s edition.

“We haven’t done it across the board,” Zenith Optimedia’s Jayson concurred, adding, “we’ll have some markets continuing with Nielsen.”

He declined to disclose which TV markets would be used for the Rentrak test, but he said the agency’s team is “confident” it would be rolled out to more local TV markets beyond the initial three.

“If we see success and increased reliability and increased performance and increased cost savings, we will roll it out to additional markets,” he confirmed, adding, “Our intention is that the test will go well. We do quite strongly believe in this.”

A Zenith Optimedia spokesperson attributed the initial announcement implying Zenith had converted 100% to Rentrak to an overly exuberant Renrak communications team.

She also clarified that the switch only pertains to Zenith Media’s local TV media buys, and does not affect sister shop Optimedia’s.
1 comment about "'This Is A Test...' Zenith Using Rentrak As Currency In Some Markets Only".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, October 7, 2014 at 8:46 a.m.

    I must say that I was surprised that any large media buying shop would abruptly " jump ship" where any form of TV rating "currency" was long in vogue, without some rather careful testing to see if a new data source provided superior insights and service. Now that this clarification has been issued, the whole thing makes more sense. Zenith is, in effect, warning Nielsen----as others may be doing more privately-----that it has major reservations about local market TV ratings. Hopefully, Nielsen will heed the warning.

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