EXCLUSIVE: Rentrak on Sunday will announce that my pal and longtime Hollywood.com movie analyst Paul Dergarabedian will join its team as Senior Media Analyst. Dergarabedian has covered box office for more than 20 years: now he’ll “act as …
Barack Obama won re-election thanks in part to knowing what you watch on television, and his campaign bought that information from some of Hollywood’s leading data collectors. As detailed in articles in The Atlantic and the Washington Post, the campaign data-mined audience-viewing habits to zero in on where the most relevant eyeballs for their money resided, learning not only what people were watching but more importantly when they were watching and for how long.
According to the reports, the Democrats’ self-developed “optimizer” system used information from set-top cable boxes collected by Rentrak and the Microsoft-owned Navic Networks. (Rentrak, a provider of box office ticket sales used by Deadline, also collects viewing habit information via set-top boxes from more than 20 million TV sets nationwide). The real-time measurements allowed Team Obama, with a TV advertising budget estimated in the $300 million range, to put tens of thousands of ads in front of the niche audiences they were seeking, saving millions in the process. It bypassed the traditional mass buys of local news and major markets — the route taken by most previous presidential campaigns including Obama’s GOP opponent Mitt Romney — in favor of late-night shows, daytime TV, reruns and second-tier cable stations like The Food Network.
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12, 2012 – Rentrak Corporation and Screen Engine today announced a jointly-developed syndicated product called PostTrak, that will report box office sales figures, audience demographics and the aspects of each title that trigger interest and attendance — all in real time. This new subscription service will measure all wide-released films during their opening and second weekends and will also report on:
– Moviegoers’ sources of awareness about the movie
– Primary reasons for attending
– Comparison of the film to their in-going expectations
– Urgency to communicate impressions about the movie to family/friends
– Most likely way of communicating about the film (social network)
– Interest in renting/purchasing the movie on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD
PostTrak is the most precise tool available for predicting future ticket sales at the box office and projections for DVD and VOD revenues. It will provide the industry with hour-by-hour and region-by-region reporting as each new wide-release title opens across the country. Additionally, PostTrak will measure second weekend audience reactions to enable studios to better leverage opening weekend audience reactions and decide how to adjust messaging with greater immediacy than ever before.