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Will Rentrak help advertisers to look at soap operas more seriously?

Rentrak logo
Rentrak logo

Variety today reported that Fox TV Stations and Sony/CBS have signed with Rentrak a local TV ratings service. This new and encouraging company, Rentrak, gathers data from digital sources such as cable and satellite TV set-top boxes. Sony Pictures TV signed on earlier this month for Rentrak’s measurement service for syndicated TV shows. Sony’s deal with Rentrak will provide the studio with access to data on syndicated programs from all 210 television markets across the country.
Fox signed today in the hopes that detailed local market data will enhance its sales pitch to key advertisers. This would include political ad buyers. Fox’s 28 stations and 18 markets are being covered.
“We are happy to have immediate access to Rentrak’s Advanced Demographics data. More importantly, we expect this will accelerate the long overdue progress toward an accurate digital measuring system in local TV, one based on a census, not estimates, and one that measures all screens,” said Fox TV Stations CEO Jack Abernethy.
“We are excited to welcome Fox as the first owned and operated network TV group to go ‘all-in’ with Rentrak,” said Rentrak vice chairman and CEO Bill Livek.
Rentrak will have to work hard to go up against still has a long way to go to go up against Nielsen ratings as the currency that drive advertising sales. The truth is that Nielson is an antiquated system not delivering true numbers and should be replaced. The Networks see the shortcomings in Nielsen’s methodologies and technological systems. Viewing habits have drastcally changed and programmers are looking for any tool to help provide better measurement and get a truer look at detailed household demographic data.
To soap fans this may help to more clearly show the true number of viewers watching daytime drama and advertisers can see a whole new way to reach their audiences. Perhaps it will change advertisers only looking to a specific age group to buy their products. 18-49ers may be the work force they target, but the moms who stay home to care for their children, the over 50 group who have the time and the money and men in all age categories are just as important when it comes time to shop their products.
It may be a whole new world in communications, but soap viewers have passed the test of time. They have been watching soaps for 50 + years and bought the products they sell each day for those 50+ years and so advertisers should show these people the respect they deserve.
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