Rentrak to Track Mobile Use for NBC Universal

Deal expands measurement firm's reach
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Measurement firm Rentrak Corp., which analyzes video-on-demand viewing for most major cable operators and also tracks set-top data for satellite operator Dish Network, has won multi-year agreement from NBC Universal (NBCU) to track mobile video and data consumption for the media conglomerate.

NBCU Mobile will use Rentrak’s Mobile Essentials service, which it has been trialing since early 2008. Mobile Essentials is a comprehensive suite of tools that analyzes trends and quickly tracks massive amounts of data in hard-to-aggregate formats such as video clips, SMS messaging, ring tones, video games, wall paper, and other mobile content.

“The Mobile Essentials tool gives NBC Universal access to timely usage data across video, mobile web, messaging, and downloads,” said Salil Dalvi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Platform Development, NBC Universal, in a statement. “The service makes it simple and practical for us to make data-driven decisions.” 

As the demand increases for more granular data to improve the effectiveness of advertising, Rentrak’s Mobile Essentials system is taking the industry one step closer to providing accurate and timely multi-screen measurement. In addition to the Mobile Essentials system, Rentrak processes on-demand television data representing more than 54 million set top boxes and processes detailed linear television data through its TV Essentials service from several million set top boxes.

Glen Friedman, President and Founder Ideas & Solutions, a media and technology consulting firm, represented Rentrak in securing the agreement. Rentrak sees the mobile space as a natural evolution for its measurement products, which currently process on-demand data from over 54 million set-top boxes.

“Rentrak’s Mobile Essentials service provides NBCU Mobile the unique opportunity to be the first in the industry with the ability to view and analyze their anonymous mobile data for the consumption of video and other downloads, text messaging, games, and more, all in one comprehensive application,” said Ken Papagan, president and chief strategy officer at Rentrak Corporation, in a statement. “Mobile handsets are the only video devices that are completely unique to each user and Mobile Essentials provides a major industry breakthrough by enabling longitudinal analytics of individual mobile viewing patterns that can also be used to drive viewers back to the TV screen as well.”