P-MRC Data Becomes ‘Luminate,’ Touts Upcoming ‘Cross-Industry Analytics Platform’ As Streaming Growth Continues

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Photo Credit: Filip Havlik

P-MRC Data, encompassing divisions such as MRC Data (formerly Nielsen Music) and SoundScan, is officially rebranding as “Luminate,” higher-ups have announced.

Luminate unveiled this latest name change via a formal release, claiming at the outset that the pivot reflects “its role in entertainment’s data economy.” Penske Media and MRC debuted their P-MRC Data “data joint venture” back in October of 2020.

In brief, regarding the companies’ convoluted business arrangements, said “data joint venture” combined the aforementioned MRC Data with “Alpha Data and Variety Business Intelligence, with MRC and PMC sharing equal ownership and control,” the original announcement message disclosed.

Around the same time, Penske and the Eldridge Industries subsidiary MRC rolled out two different joint ventures yet, dubbing one of the companies “PMRC.” The latter brought all manner of music-industry and entertainment publications under the same banner, and execs promptly laid off a reported 20 percent of incoming team members from Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, and Vibe.

Somewhere along the line, “PMRC” adopted a hyphen and became “P-MRC,” according to reports published by the venture’s outlets last April, when the company bought a 50 percent stake in SXSW. The other of the above-noted two joint ventures – that besides the entity now called Luminate as well as PMRC/P-MRC – involved “a new content partnership that will activate the power of the production infrastructure and expertise of MRC across PMRC intellectual property (IP),” the companies said.

Now, as mentioned at the outset, P-MRC Data has become Luminate and started billing itself as “a new company with an incredible legacy that is redefining the entertainment industry with data, science and technology.”

Addressing the development in a statement, former Google exec and current Luminate CEO Rob Jonas elaborated: “We re-conceived this brand as the industry’s central and most trusted source for all of entertainment’s verified strategic and operational data. The name represents our mission to bring clarity and insight to a complex and evolving industry.

“Over the past few months, we have begun to incorporate our tent-pole products, MRC Data and Variety Business Intelligence, into the most comprehensive entertainment analytics offering, which will eventually span across all major media categories, while comprehensively managing the rights of our ecosystem data partners and contributors,” he concluded, making clear that MRC Data is a component of the overarching business operation.

Luminate also took the opportunity to reiterate the recent launch of “Global Hits, which tracks top performing songs across forty-eight countries and offers comparison and analysis across regions,” and the coming debut of “a unified, cross-industry analytics platform.”

Long term, it’s unclear what exactly Luminate’s identity crisis means for the overarching data-tracking sphere. Needless to say, today’s streaming-driven music industry (and digitized retail space) makes it easier than ever to monitor songs’ commercial performance, unlike in the not-so-distant past. Similarly, with a growing number of individuals enjoying television through streaming, time will tell whether advertisers ultimately embrace direct data over extrapolated figures.