Rentrak buys WPP's measurement assets for $98M, now challenging Nielsen

Taking a major step forward in its bid to challenge Nielsen in the business of TV audience measurement, Rentrak has acquired the Kantar business unit from advertising conglomerate WPP for $98 million in common stock.

The deal gives WPP a 16.7 percent share in Rentrak, with a chance to increase that share to no higher than 20 percent on the open market. Rentrak will be able to integrate its national and local TV measurement data with a number of Kantar's U.S.-based services that target digital media, advertising and purchasing concerns .

Also, WPP's GroupM media-buying agency will begin to utilize Rentrak's national and local TV measurement services in the United States.

The integration, Rentrak says, will provide advertisers, agencies, TV networks, MVPDs and local broadcast stations throughout the U.S. with tools to help them understand consumers' purchasing habits and the ability to link TV viewing habits with purchase and other behavior.

"The combined expertise of Kantar and Rentrak will enable clients to better comprehend and leverage the relationship between United States TV viewing and brands," said Kantar CEO Eric Salama. "We are excited about the future products that we can develop with Rentrak for the U.S. television industry. Clients will benefit from our focus on respondent-level media and purchase data." 

For more:
- read this Rentrak press release
- read this Variety story

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