Business News Deals Media

US music data firms come together in new joint venture

By | Published on Friday 23 October 2020

Having previously announced two joint ventures – one around their music and trade magazines and another their television projects – US media companies MRC and PMC have now announced a new alliance bringing together their respective entertainment data businesses.

Both parties in this new venture have acquired entertainment data companies in recent years. MRC bought the music division of data giant Nielsen last year, subsequently rebranding it as MRC Data. Meanwhile, PMC bought into the younger music data outfit BuzzAngle in 2018, which was then rebranded as Alpha Data earlier this year. Both will become part of the new data-focused JV that MRC and PMC are now creating, alongside the latter’s Variety Business Intelligence unit.

It’s an interesting alliance because when PMC’s Rolling Stone magazine launched its own music chart with Alpha Data last year, it was positioned as a significant new competitor to the traditional Billboard charts in the US. Billboard, of course, is owned by MRC, and its charts are compiled by MRC Data.

Except, of course, competition between those two charts had already been lessened by one of the earlier MRC/PMC joint ventures – ie the one that brought together the music and trade magazines in which the two companies have an interest. Those include Rolling Stone and Billboard, as well as The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Vibe and Music Business Worldwide.

Announcing the latest alliance, the bosses of MRC – Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk – and of PMC – Jay Penske – all said in unison: “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”.

“Data transparency must be a critical component of our industry and our society’s future”, they went on, “and this new company will leverage our collective data products, people, and expertise to provide solutions for the global entertainment community”.