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Rentrak to Track Advertising Views

17 May, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Citing a rapidly evolving global entertainment market, Rentrak Corp. May 17 announced it would soon track advertising viewing habits among cable subscribers and expand operations overseas.

Speaking before the Robins Emerging Opportunities Investment Conference in Las Vegas, Paul Rosenbaum, chairman and CEO of Portland, Ore.-based Rentrak, said the nascent Advertising Essentials subscription service would help content providers and advertisers bridge the digital divide.

“Fifty percent of all advertising is wasted but you don't know which 50%,” said Rosenbaum. “The media brands are everywhere but they have to know their percentage across multiple markets.”

The CEO claimed Rentrak annually tracked about 50 million box office transactions via 35,000 theatrical locations. It tracked 1 billion home video rental transactions through 10,000 locations and 100 million sellthrough transactions. In video-on-demand, the Rentrak tracked 2 billion transactions via 150 cable locations.

Rosenbaum said Rentrak's proprietary software would enable studios and advertisers to determine viewer habits, including who watched an ad, who skipped it and who watched it more than once. The software could identify the day an ad was watched, the time of day and the home value, ethnicity and income level of the anonymous viewer.

“Everything is going digital,” Rosenbaum said. “Whoever delivers content in the future has to be cognizant of the fact that no matter what the platform is — wireless, DVR, broadband, satellite or the Internet — they are dealing with the same content providers and advertisers. Whoever can track content across all these platforms is going to win.”

Rosenbaum said Rentrak was expanding its data tracking operations overseas and expected to “double our revenues in the next 15 months.”

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