Variety Acquires Research Company TVtracker

Magazines aren’t just about editorial anymore. Case in point, the parent of Hollywood-focused trade mag Variety has acquired TVtracker, an entertainment research and data-tracking provider. The move is part of Variety Group’s effort to become an analytics provider, as Tvtracker comes with a database system covering TV, feature film and digital entertainment.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The data TVtracker studies is particularly important to Variety’s readership, including everything from pilot pickups and series orders to motion-picture development and post-production. The match is an inverse of the ill-fated deal between Nielsen and its former business magazine group, which included Variety rival The Hollywood Reporter, as well as other entertainment and media b2b pubs Billboard, Adweek and Editor & Publisher.

When the downturn came and hit the b2b trade business hard, Nielsen found that it wasn’t getting any benefit and eventually sold it off to the company now known as Prometheus Group in late 2009 for around $80 million.

But in this case, 12-year-old Tvtracker can certainly be used to produce some original reporting around data and serve as a nice add-on for subscribers. On its own, TVtracker has a range of subscription plans starting at $15 per month/$125 annually up to $395 for its “definitive guide to the 2011 LA Screenings.”

It’s likely that TVtracker will serve to promote additional new products on the analytics side for Variety. As Jennifer Collins, digital general manager for Variety, said in a statement, “Research and data services are a centerpiece of Variety’s online strategy.”

As advertising support continues to diminish for business trades, analytics will certainly be at the center of most b2b pubs as well.