NEWS8 February 2012

AMI division grows but Rentrak posts loss

Financials North America

US— Rentrak almost doubled the number of TV stations signed up to its local market audience measurement product, StationView Essentials, in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, helping the company’s Advanced Media and Information (AMI) division reach $9.9m in sales.

But AMI growth of 20% only partially offset the continued decline of Rentrak’s home entertainment services business, where sales fell 21% to $12.3m. Total company revenue stood at $22.2m for the three months ended 31 December, compared to $23.7m a year ago.

Rentrak also posted a loss of $1.9m for the quarter, blamed on acquisition and stock-based compensation costs. Q3 losses last year were $473,000.

CEO Bill Livek (pictured) said: “Marketplace momentum for our TV businesses is continuing to build, with more networks, stations, advertisers and advertising agencies using Rentrak’s census-based measurement currency. We are successfully delivering on our promise to grow our Advanced Media and Information division to represent the majority of our revenue and operating income.”

AMI revenue currently accounts for 45% of Rentrak’s total sales. The company has recently been making headway with its TV measurement products in particular, growing the StationView Essentials customer base from 79 stations at the start of the quarter to 140 now.

Alongside a host of contract renewals, it has won endorsement from PrecisionDemand, a media agency headed by a former executive of Rentrak’s rival Nielsen, Post-Newsweek has said it will use the firm’s data as its trading currency, while media buying group Aegis has signed its agencies up to Rentrak’s national TV Essentials service.

Meanwhile, the company announced today that The Interpublic Group and its Mediabrands business, which consists of Universal McCann, Initiative and MagnaGlobal, has subscribed to “virtually every Rentrak offering including the company’s national and local TV ratings, Exact Commercial Ratings, and Rentrak’s newly released ‘movie-goer’ segmentation database”.

Rentrak says Mediabrands will be “an aggressive user of its services in the marketplace”, suggesting a role for the data in the ad sales negotiation process.