Penske Media and MRC Form Joint Venture to Combine Data Businesses

MRC-PMC-logos
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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.

MRC and Penske Media Corporation on Thursday unveiled 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 immediately 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," Penske, Satchu and Wiczyk said in a joint statement. "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."

MRC and PMC said the new company will 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; and expert daily, weekly, monthly analysis and deep dive reports from leading data scientists and robust research capabilities."

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MRC Data was established last year through the acquisition of Nielsen Music and services all digital service providers, labels, airplay and music retailers. MRC Data includes Billboard charts and products that include Music Connect, Broadcast Data Systems and Music360.

Alpha Data, formerly known as BuzzAngle, is a music-analytics tool and daily-reporting service that also powers the Rolling Stone charts. Alpha Data+ is a subscription tool and service that features daily, of-the-moment charts.

Variety Business Intelligence is a metadata provider for filmed content across the U.S and internationally. VBI oversees Variety Insight, Vscore and the Variety Archives.

The news comes on the heels of PMC and MRC announcing the formation last month 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.