Starcom MediaVest Goes Local With Rentrak Set-Top Data

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Media agency Starcom MediaVest Group expanded its contract with audience-measurement firm Rentrak to provide local viewing data culled from set-top boxes across 20 U.S. markets.

SMG plans to use Rentrak's StationView Essentials local measurement service as one of its resources for local TV planning and buying across 20 major and midsize markets. In addition, the agency also renewed its commitment to Rentrak's national TV measurement service, TV Essentials.

"Starcom MediaVest Group, a longtime supporter of and leader in TV set-top-box knowledge based services, is excited to be working with Rentrak's large, multi-sourced TV measurement service in both local and national markets," SMG senior vice president of research Helen Katz said in announcing the deal. "By continuing to explore more granular TV data, we can help our clients learn more about national and local television behavior in a long tail viewing environment."

Rentrak's TV Essentials ratings database measures networks in 210 markets from more than 17 million televisions nationwide. The data includes set-top viewing information from Dish Network, Charter Communications' Los Angeles division and AT&T U-verse TV.

Rentrak's ability to merge its own viewing database with syndicated and proprietary segmentation and customer data "allows SMG to utilize far more stable, granular and comprehensive insights into audience behaviors in the planning, buying and posting processes," according to Steven Walsh, Rentrak's senior vice president of local market television sales.

Other companies that provide aggregated set-top data include Nielsen, TiVo and Kantar Media, which has a deal with DirecTV for set-top data.

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