NEWS4 August 2010

Rentrak media data business up 132%, helped by EDI acquisition

Financials North America

US— Nary a week goes by without news of a TV measurement contract win for Rentrak, so little surprise then that its Advanced Media Information (AMI) division has seen revenues rise 132% for the three months ended 30 June.

The increase in quarterly sales, from $3.6m last year to $8.3m this year, was partly the result of Rentrak’s acquisition of rival Nielsen’s box office data business EDI, but previous quarters had seen the AMI business growing at a double-digit clip.

AMI’s performance covered a shortfall in Rentrak’s home entertainment services business, which includes its Pay-Per-Transaction (PPT) system for revenue sharing between video rental outlets and movie distributors. Revenues there were down 10% to $16.3m.

Costs were up on last year by more than $3m to $10.7m owing to EDI acquisition costs, recurring EDI operating expenses and an increase in stock-based compensation – meaning net income was down 70% to $87,000.

CEO Bill Livek (pictured) said: “Adding EDI boosted our global box office currency business while Rentrak’s TV database currencies continue to show strong results. We are continuing to successfully execute against our business initiatives as we become the database currency of choice throughout the entertainment and advertising industries.”

The TV database currencies Livek speaks of are the TV, OnDemand and StationView Essentials products, which use data collated from set-top boxes to analyse viewing behaviours.

Earlier this week, the company signed an expanded deal with cable TV firm Charter Communications to add set-top box data from all capable Charter markets to its local and national TV measurement services.

Rentrak’s relationship with Charter dates back to March 2005, when the two companies started working together on analysing video-on-demand audiences. Last year, Charter began sharing data on linear TV viewing as part of a trial, which led to the deal this week to share linear TV and digital video recorder data.

Meanwhile, Rentrak today announced an agreement with TV broadcaster Raycom Media to provide local market measurement for Raycom’s Charlotte CBS-affiliate WBTV and Birmingham FOX-affiliate WBRC.