Penske Media and MRC Form Data Joint Venture

LOS ANGELES – Leading independent media and entertainment companies MRC and Penske Media Corporation (PMC) announced a new joint venture to bring together their respective data businesses. The newly formed company combines MRC Data (formerly Nielsen Music), Alpha Data and Variety Business Intelligence, with MRC and PMC sharing equal ownership and control. The announcement, effective today with a transition period through early-2021, was made by MRC CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk and PMC CEO Jay Penske. Current MRC Data President Deanna Brown will serve as interim head, overseeing day-to-day operations.

“As we compete with industry titans who have an arsenal of data at their fingertips, we’re proud our businesses represent the trusted independent source known for delivering comprehensive, timely, and accurate data in entertainment,” said Penske, Satchu, and Wiczyk. “Data transparency must be a critical component of our industry and our society’s future, and this new company will leverage our collective data products, people, and expertise to provide solutions for the global entertainment community.”

The key highlights of the new company include:

  • Global data solutions that span music, film, television and digital industries
  • Expertise in music with data that powers domestic and global charts which consumers and artists have relied upon for decades for transparency in music
  • State-of-the-art platforms, powerful analytics tools and dashboards to further enhance data offerings for clients
  • Domestic and global first-party and aggregated data sets
  • Expert daily, weekly, monthly analysis and deep dive reports from leading data scientists and robust research capabilities

Established in 2019 through the acquisition of Nielsen Music, MRC Data is a leading global provider of data and analytics to the entertainment and music industry and consumers. MRC Data services all digital service providers (DSPs), labels, airplay, and music retailers. MRC Data includes Billboard charts, which first launched in 1940. Known as the industry standard, the Billboard charts encompass the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. MRC Data products include Music Connect, Broadcast Data Systems and Music360, which collectively capture and represent the most robust dataset related to music sales, performance, artist activity, and consumer engagement. MRC Data recently unveiled its global Music Connect product, which powers the new Global Billboard Charts.

Alpha Data, formerly known as BuzzAngle, is the world’s premiere music-analytics tool and daily-reporting service. Alpha Data+, the subscription tool and service, is widely used by the music industry for its daily, of-the-moment charts, powerful filter sets and global enterprise data solutions. Alpha Data powers the Rolling Stone charts, which launched in July 2019. Alpha Data recently announced a forthcoming cloud application to enhance user experience with lightning-fast feeds.

Variety Business Intelligence (VBI) is the entertainment industry’s premiere metadata provider for filmed content across the United States and international. VBI oversees Variety Insight, the leading entertainment research and information platform, and a familiarity and appeal metric, Vscore. The division also oversees the Variety Archives, which encompassesVariety’s editorial content from 1905 to the present. VBI was created when Variety acquired TVtracker, the leading research and data solution in the TV industry in 2011.

PMC and MRC previously announced the formation of PMRC Holdings, a joint venture bringing together The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vibe and Music Business Worldwide. It also announced a content partnership to produce television, film and other formats whereby MRC will access the intellectual property across the portfolio of PMRC brands.

The financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

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