Nielsen Global Pres. Says Rentrak Doesn't Let 'Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Press Release'
October 14, 2014 at 3:57 AM (PT)
The war of words between NIELSEN and RENTRAK got a bit more heated YESTERDAY (10/13) when NIELSEN Global Pres. STEVE HASKER said RENTRAK never lets “the facts get in the way of a good press release.”
The heated exchange began last week (NET NEWS 10/6) when ALL ACCESS reported that while only affecting TV, the announcement by ZENITH MEDIA Chief Data Officer ROB JAYSON that the media agency would drop NIELSEN, and begin using RENTRAK’s local TV audience measurement data as “the currency” for its local TV advertising buys, was characterized by JAYSON as “the beginning of a big industry change.”
The next day (NET NEWS 10/7), RENTRAK had to back away from that statement when news that ZENITH MEDIA would use RENTRACK as its "local TV currency" was, to put it mildly, found to be premature. ZENITH MEDIA clarified things by noting that RENTRAK monitoring will be used in three local TV markets as a test.
Now, THE NEW YORK POST reports, "NIELSEN, in the middle of announcing on FRIDAY that it had flubbed the FALL TV ratings because of a software glitch, took time out to attack a rival measurement firm." In addition to the "not letting the facts" comment, THE POST noted HASKER said that "RENTRAK data is 'not accredited' and the firm is not transparent about its methodology."
“They’ve been asked to stop using the phrase ‘census-like data,’?” said HASKER. “They have no demographic information and they can’t measure digital or tablets.”
RENTRAK CEO BILL LIVEK returned fire, telling the paper, "There is room for two companies in the TV measurement sector, just as there is more than one company in the credit score, ratings and soda business. 'There’s EXPERIAN and EQUIFAX, MOODY’S and S&P and COKE and PEPSI,” he said. “They’re building samples, we’re building big data,” LIVEK added.
RENTRAK made more news this week when the company announced a plan to acquire another measurement firm, KANTAR MEDIA.