In an important vote of confidence for the Nielsen TV ratings rival, CBS has signed a contract to begin using Rentrak’s “advanced demographics” ratings as a form of TV advertising “currency.”
The timing of the deal is significant, because it comes as Madison Avenue begins planning for the 2014-15 network upfront buying season, and when it's beginning to look like Nielsen is approaching global domination of the rest of the media audience measurement business.
While Rentrak has signed contracts with numerous agencies and broadcast groups to date, CBS is the first of the major broadcast networks to begin utilizing Rentrak's TV Essentials service as an official part of the audience data it utilizes to negotiate and guarantee advertising deals with agencies and advertisers.
The agreement, which includes a subscription for CBS’ sister network, CBS Sports Network, was described as “a major advancement” by Rentrak, which said CBS will also have access to its automotive audience data, including hourly ratings delivered against more than 230 networks and automobile make/model purchase behaviors.
“As more advertisers move beyond age/sex demographics for their media buying, there’s been a shift to combine viewing data with product-purchase data to create comprehensive evaluation tools,” stated David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS, who has been a long-time proponent of the shift from demographics to consumer purchasing behavior data.
“Working with Rentrak, our goal is to advance this transition to a new era in television advertising execution,” he added.