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Rentrak Officially Folded Into comScore

1 Feb, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In a move that was 12 years in the making, Rentrak Corp. Feb. 1 formally embraced its digital reality, becoming a subsidiary of comScore following decades of largely operating as a studio facilitator of packaged-media rental transactions for independent video stores.

comScore acquired Portland, Ore.-based Rentrak last September in an all-stock transaction that valued the combined companies at $2.4 billion.  

The new comScore says it will use its “massive data scale” to establish new “currencies” for understanding consumers’ multiscreen behavior, and provide a precise, innovation-led understanding of audiences, brands and consumer behavior around the world. That behavior includes video-on-demand, electronic sellthrough, pay-TV, TV Everywhere, and box office, among others.

The new comScore tracks data in more than 75 countries. In the United States, comScore now measures consumer behavior on more than 260 million desktop screens, 160 million mobile phone screens, 95 million tablet screens, 40 million television screens, 120 million video-on-demand screens, and 40,000 movie theater screens representing well over a hundred million movie-goers.

“We will provide a new model of measurement for the cross-platform world; one that is not merely evolutionary, but revolutionary. It will be precise in answering your most detailed questions and unified in a way that takes the pain out of quantifying behavior across screens,” CEO Serge Matta said in a statement.

In a fiscal call on Feb. 12, 2004, former Rentrak chairman and CEO Paul Rosenbaum was asked if emerging business opportunities in VOD, supply-side data tracking and business intelligence warranted a change in the corporate name.

“The name is synonymous with a company that was started 18 years ago in the video rental business,” Rosenbaum said. “We are going in a different direction than VHS revenue sharing. The timing is right for us to seriously consider a different name.”

Rosenbaum retired in 2011, with Bill Livek becoming CEO. In the new company, Livek is vice chairman and president of comScore.

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