Penske Media and MRC Form Joint Venture Merging Data Businesses

Variety Staff
·2-min read

Penske Media Corp., parent company of Variety, and MRC announced a new joint venture bringing together their respective data businesses.

The newly formed company combines PMC’s Alpha Data, Variety Business Intelligence and MRC Data (formerly Nielsen Music). MRC and PMC will share equal ownership and control. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

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

The announcement about the combo of PMC and MRC’s data businesses is effective Thursday with a transition period through early 2021. The deal was announced 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.”

Under the deal, the joint venture will encompass global data solutions that span music, film, television and digital industries.

Variety Business Intelligence (VBI) is the entertainment industry’s premiere metadata provider for filmed content across the U.S. 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 encompasses Variety’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.

MRC Data, established in 2019 through the acquisition of Nielsen Music, provides analytics to the entertainment and music industry and includes Billboard charts, which first launched in 1940.

Alpha Data, formerly known as BuzzAngle, is a premiere music analytics tool and daily reporting service. Alpha Data+, the subscription tool and service, provides daily, of-the-moment charts, 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.

More from Variety

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.