Last month, Billboard parent company MRC announced a joint venture with Penske Media Corp. to form PMRC, a new publishing and content venture that would house Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Vibe, Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide.
Today (Oct. 22), the two companies have announced a separate joint venture, one which will unite the various data operations owned by the two companies: MRC Data (formerly Nielsen Music), which powers the Billboard Charts; Alpha Data (formerly BuzzAngle), which powers the Rolling Stone Charts; and Variety Business Intelligence. MRC and Penske Media will own and control equal shares in the new venture, which goes into effect today with a transition period through the beginning of 2021, with MRC Data president Deanna Brown steering the transition as interim head of the operation.
“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,” said Penske Media CEO Jay Penske and MRC co-CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk 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.”
The announcement helps clarify the future of each brand’s respective charts, as the data brands had not been included in the PMRC joint venture. As part of that deal, Penske and MRC had also announced a content partnership for TV, film and additional formats, to be led by MRC with access to PMRC’s intellectual property.
MRC Data had recently released its Music Connect product, which is behind Billboard’s new Global 200 and Global Ex-U.S. charts, which launched in September. Variety Business Intelligence, meanwhile, provides metadata for filmed content in the U.S. and around the world, and includes Variety Insight, a research and information platform; VScore, a familiarity and appeal metric; and the Variety Archives.
The terms of the new joint venture were not disclosed.