Cowles Taps Rentrak for Measurement

Will take set-top data for six stations
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Related: Advanced Advertising 2.0: Varied 'Currencies' Driving Research, Business

Cowles Media Company has become the latest station group to subscribe
to the set-top-data based local TV measurement service from Rentrak
Corporation, which first established itself in the cable industry by
measuring VOD consumption and has since expanded into measuring linear
TV with both pay-TV operators like Dish Network and local broadcasters.

Under the deal, Cowles will use Rentrak's StationView Essentials
service to measure viewing for six stations in four markets: KCBA (Fox
35) and KION (CBS) in Monterey, California; KCOY (CBS) and KKFX (FOX 11)
in Santa Barbara, California; KHQ-TV (NBC) in Spokane, Washington and
KNDO (NBC) in Yakima, Washington. There are 31 stations in 17 markets
currently subscribing to Rentrak's TV database, with participating
groups including Sinclair, Post-Newsweek and Schurz.

"Cowles chose
Rentrak because of their unique ability to take a large dataset and
provide an in-depth analysis of both station and telecast performance so
we are better able to sell our inventory based not only on a better
measurement tool for the size of our audience, but also how attentive
and relevant that audience is to the programs they watch," said Paul
Dughi, President of Cowles California Media Company, in a statement.
"Based on StationView Essential's stability, granularity and the
opportunities to overlay segmentation data in all of our markets, we
have found Rentrak's data to be vital to every department within our
organization including news, promotions, marketing and sales."

Through
deals with Dish, AT&T and Charter, Rentrak is able to measure local
viewing in all 210 markets, and by this summer will be pulling data
from a national sample of 17 million set-tops, said Bruce Goerlich,
chief researcher for Rentrak. The company has been quickly growing its
local station business, which started the year with "zero stations,"
said Goerlich, who spoke MJune 21 at B&C and Multichannel News'
Advanced Advertising 2.0 conference in New York.

"There's been
inertia in the marketplace in the way of doing business," noted
Goerlich, referring to broadcasters' long reliance on Nielsen numbers.
But he said Rentrak has been able to overcome that by hosting "agency
days" to explain the benefits of its local set-top measurement to media
buyers. He added that once Rentrak starts measuring for one station in a
market, others quickly follow, and that the company typically has "four
out of five stations" in a market.

"We're talking about
currencies that are more relevant," said Goerlich. "I think it's time
that TV woke up and understood there are other ways of doing business."

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