Rentrak vs. Placedise – An Evaluation

When it comes to measuring the advertising effects and impact that branded entertainment (or product placement) has on consumers, one can always do extensive market research. However, if you do not want to spend a huge amount of money and maybe also want to get some insights before any implementation, there are almost no services left.
Besides our own software, the Rentrak Corporation seems to offer something quite similar (see here). Since on of our core values is transparency, we compared the two services to help you with your purchase decision.

Since Rentrak does not give a lot of information about their system, we mostly used some YouTube-Videos where they explain the software and also show some screenshots (here and here).


What is similar?

Both solutions determine the quality of a branded entertainment project based on historical data and calculate a KPI that is very helpful when it comes to evaluating the success of branded entertainment or product placement measures.


What is different?


You only provide the relevant material and some Rentrak employees evaluate the integration.You can also just provide the material and let Placedise do the rest (would be an additional service). However, the main idea is rather that you can input the data yourself and have full control over what happens.
It is not clear how the data is processed after you have handed over the files. You have to trust the Rentrak employees.You know exactly what you put in, how specific items were evaluated and what happened to your input. So afterwards, you know exactly what led to the output and where you can optimize.



Rentrak considers the 18 “most important” parameters.Placedise considers 121 parameters. Since not all parameters are relevant for every branded entertainment setting and you can also let the software make automatic assumptions for some specifications, it is still very handy, but at the same time more accurate.
Rentrak calculates the final value by comparing the input to a control group. However, a real control group has to see the same media content without the advertising object and then be tested for the same explicit and implicit effects than the test group. Since the software does not get this input, it is not possible to have a valid control group. We assume that the control group is determined by using data from other projects and make assumptions.Placedise calculates the final value by comparing the input to a theoretical ideal setting (for a given goal) and therefore determines how well the goal has been achieved. Since the test and the control settings are processed the same way, they are perfectly comparable.
Rentrak needs content that they can evaluate. This means that you cannot test a fictional implementation.With Placedise, you can test the final integration as well as first ideas. You do not need to provide any content, because you can input the parameter values directly yourself.



Rentrak calculates some kind of an advanced media value. However, this is not any helpful despite presenting some crazy figures to other people (see “why we don’t believe in the media value“).Placedise calculates how well the given input fits a theoretically ideal setting, based on the given goals. Therefore, you know how well you achieved your goals. You also receive a detailed report that not only gives you more information about what led to the final result, but also provides recommendations on where you can improve.
Rentrak compares the results to an industry average. This is a very interesting information, but also not helpful in deciding if a measure is successful or not. That is basically due to the fact that we do not know what the numbers are compared to (How many competitors? What results – only the good ones? Comparable activities or everything?).Placedise does not provide any comparison to competitors. That is basically due to the fact that it is very difficult if you do it right and only compare what is really comparable. However, this is an interesting feature that definitely comes on our roadmap!



Rentrak does not provide that many information about how the system really works, about their pricing and anything else. Since you do not have control over the input and calculations, it is no tool, but rather a consulting service you need to trust in.Placedise provides as much transparency as possible. You have full control over your data, your input and therefore get deep insights on how to optimize your branded entertainment and product placement activities. Placedise is a tool that supports and consults you on the go.



Based on the available information, both systems seem to work in a similar way. However, we offer a lot more insights and give you more control over the measurement. It also seems like Placedise is more advanced when it comes to the algorithm and data it is based on. If you want to directly combine those measures with TV ratings or box office information, Rentrak provides you more speed and power, because their main business is observing movies sales figures. At Rentrak, you can also get “real” market research (However, still not comparable to Nielsen or GfK and not what we are comparing here). Placedise, on the other hand, is designed to be more a project management and controlling tool.

In the end, it depends on what you are looking for. If you only need another fictitious media value for your report, you should also have a look at Rentrak (at least find out more about their pricing). If you want more control and are looking for a tool to report AND manage your product placement activity, Placedise would be the right choice. However, that is our slightly biased conclusion. To be fair, you should make your own one, based on the facts that are shown above.

Nevertheless, Rentrak’s claim “only Rentrak can measure the effect that integrating brands into entertainment content has on consumers (…)” is definitely wrong! Maybe some of the executives at Rentrak read this post and are able to change it. We are also open for any more information that should be added to this comparison.

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Rentrak vs. Placedise – An Evaluation
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Jens Kürschner

Author: Jens Kürschner

Jens Kürschner is founder and managing director of Placedise. As an expert in the field of consumer behavior and media enthusiast, he is especially responsible for the product know-how. In our blog, this knowledge and the experience of many years of research and study will be shared with you.

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