Zenith Using Rentrak Data To Buy And Plan Local TV Ads

Rentrak said that Zenith Media has become the first national agency to pick Rentrak’s local TV data as the basis for planning and buying local TV advertising.

Rentrak has been providing ratings information on viewing for a growing number of stations, supplanting Nielsen in the local ratings business.

“Zenith is proud to be at the beginning of a big industry change. For the first time in industry history, we are replacing the low-response rate, highly unpredictable surveys and diaries with massive and passive measurement,” said Zenith’s chief data officer Rob Jayson. “We expect to see significant reductions in costs for our clients as well as dramatically improved service.”

The agency will continue to buy ratings from Nielsen while it evaluates the data from Rentrak. "We have many clients who will want to become familiar with a new currency over time and we will gradually introduce the concept to client franchisees and local operations.  But all of them recognize the weakness and instability in the current system so all are very open to improvement," Jayson said.

While Nielsen’s data is mainly based on panels of sample viewers, Rentrak primarily relies on viewing information that comes from millions of set-top boxes.

“We expect that this new Rentrak-based currency will become the new gold standard for all of local TV ad spending and are excited about the prospect of significant change and improvement in our TV currency and trading,” Jayson said. “Rentrak information will help us open up a new era of TV negotiation through the use of modern data matching techniques, which enable us to trade on consumer audiences rather than broad demographics.” 

(Photo via Ervins Strauhmanis's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 19, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.