Billboard‘s parent company, Valence Media, just announced its acquisition of Nielsen Music. The deal reunites Billboard with the leading music consumption analytics platform after a decade-long separation. As sister companies underneath the arm of Dutch media conglomerate Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU), the subsidiaries were separated in 2009 when VNU sold Billboard to Prometheus Global Media.
“Nielsen Music and Billboard have long partnered to offer a complete picture of music performance and artist activity for the largest, and most important, music markets in the world,” said Karthik Rao, Nielsen’s Global Media chief product and technology officer. “We’re confident MRC Data will lead the next wave of growth in a business that is evolving faster than Drake drops hits.”
Founded in 1991 by Mike Fine and Mike Shalett, Nielsen Music (previously Nielsen SoundScan) have given Billboard powerful analytical insights into consumer data such as sales, streams, airplay, downloads, and more. Of course, this is all in service of Billboard’s charts including Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200, Billboard Artist 100, etc. Valence now adds Nielsen Music to its rich global portfolio, which also contains Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group, dick clark productions, MRC Film, MRC Television, and MRC Non-Fiction.
As a result of the acquisition, Valence has established a new MRC Data division to foster new and scaled opportunities across the company’s varied portfolio. Current Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group president, Deanna Brown, will head up the division.
“By bringing Nielsen Music Products and Billboard back together, we’re answering the request from the music industry for a more coordinated, powerful, agile, and global suite of independent measurement products. The new MRC Data division will leverage our scale and global, multimedia perspective to operate as a true accelerant for our music business colleagues and stakeholders,” stated Brown.
Even though Billboard and Nielsen Music will now be owned by the same company, Billboard reports that they pledge “to operate with clear separation between the data and editorial teams and continue to follow best practices and security standards to ensure clients’ data integrity.”