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Rentrak inks deal with WPP’s Interactive Television

MUMBAI: Media research company Rentrak has tied up with WPP’s cinema advertising unit Interactive Television (ITV) for box office data collections.

Through the alliance, Rentrak aims to try and overcome a roadblock it has hit in India over collecting box-office data, mentions the Economic Times.

Rentrak India MD Rajkumar Akella told the daily, “Through us distributors not only will get access to box-office data, it will help in better release planning, programming, determining release windows, and also understand audience preferences.”

Rentrak is unable to collect data from PVR and Inox, two of the biggest local cinema chains.

PVR wants Rentrak to pay a fee to get access to its theatres, while Inox will sign up only if PVR does, sources at GroupM, WPP’s media-buying group told the daily.

Currently, only two cinema chains namely Carnival and Cinepolis, have inked deals to share box-office data with Rentrak in India.

The research company hopes its association with ITV, which buys space for ads in theatre screens on behalf of companies, will help it overcome the hurdle.

The report further mentions that with this pact with WPP, which is in exchange of exclusive data, it will get access to movie producers and advertisers, who can, in turn, help it in convincing PVR and Inox to come on board.

ITV chief executive Ajay Mehta told ET, “ITV is supporting Rentrak in getting access to cinema owners across the country. For cinema advertising to become bigger and take its rightful place in the media mix, it needs to become more accountable and measurable. Box-office data will give advertisers clear measures and ways to calculate the ROI.”

According to ITV, India needs a scientific methodology to measure box-office data as cinema advertising ads played inside cineplexes and multiplexes accounts for over Rs 400 crore (Rs 4 billion) in annual revenue and has grown at about 15 per cent annually in the past three years.

Rentrak already has a tie-up with GroupM and its agencies in the US. The box-office data will be useful for advertisers while considering displaying ads in movie halls.

Rentrak tracks box-office information from over 1.25 lakh cinemas in 40 countries. The company directly collects and compiles box-office data on real-time at the theatre and gives it to stakeholders after further processing.