Horizon Media Strikes Rentrak TV Ratings Deal

Nielsen TV ratings rival Rentrak has signed one of the biggest media-buying agencies, Horizon Media, as a subscriber to its “full suite” of TV ratings services, including national, local and on-demand audience data.

The deal comes as publicly traded Rentrak announced strong fourth-quarter results, including a 38% increase in revenues for the quarter, as well as its first three fiscal quarters.

The quarter included the closing of Rentrak’s acquisition of WPP’s Kantar unit’s U.S.-based TV measurement assets, as well as a new “enterprise-wide” local TV market ratings contract for all of Tribune Broadcasting’s stations.

Terms of the Horizon deal were not disclosed, but it is the largest media agency not affiliated with a major agency holding company.



“We have seen the value in Rentrak’s granular and stable television measurement,” said Eric Blankfein, chief of WHERE at Horizon Media.

“We see a unique opportunity to leverage these data sets within our toolbox and marketplace approach,” said Blankfein in a statement, implying that the deal is not exclusive and the agency presumably will continue to maintain its TV ratings contracts with Nielsen.

3 comments about "Horizon Media Strikes Rentrak TV Ratings Deal".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 6, 2015 at 11:22 a.m.

    Translation: Nielsen continues to provide the "currency" for all TV buys but Rentrak data may be used, on a selective basis, to give the agency's media researchers and planners some insights that could have a bearing on media plans and/or TV time buys---- in some cases.I assume that we will see a number of these announcements in the coming months, which is fine news for Rentrak and puts more pressure on Nielsen, but let's not give the impression that Nielsen is about to be replaced as the TV rating "champ". Remember what happened when Arbitron and AGB threatened Nielsen in times past. Now, Nielsen owns Arbitron and it has been using an adaptation of AGB's peoplemeter system since 1987. I expect that, at some point, Nielsen will come to an accommodation with Rentrak---or buy it. Just my opinion.

  2. Carol Lewis from Riverton Media LLC, February 6, 2015 at 11:32 a.m.

    Very good points, Ed.

  3. Scott Christopher from McCulloch + Company, February 9, 2015 at 10:01 a.m.

    I think the last paragraph is very revealing - implying that Rentrak is still a supplement and Nielsen still the currency. As a media agency when a rep has Rentrak, we'll reference for both buying and posting, but go with Nielsen because it is what our buys are based on, and most widely used in each market. Plus Nielsen integrates with our buying software and Rentrak does not. And interesting prediction by Ed - how long with Rentrak last before it is gobbled up?

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