IBM's Watson Provides Brainpower to Turner

Turner Broadcasting said it is using IBM’s Watson platform to help its advanced ad sales efforts.

Watson’s last connection to TV was winning Jeopardy!

Turner also said it will be using advanced predictive analytics from MarketShare to do planning and forecasting and it has hired James Russo, formerly with Nielsen, as senior VP, client strategy and development.

Turner has been looking to use big data to better inform its ad sales operation.

“This solution addresses one of the timeless objectives of marketing leaders—infusing new levels of data and science into advertising decisions,” said Adam Steinberg, VP, IBM Cognitive Business Solutions. “Armed with deep, fact-based recommendations, Turner will hone the precision of every advertising recommendation, and in turn, lift the impact of the customers who place advertising on Turner’s award-winning programming.”

Turner had been using MarketShare’s investment advisor tool to quantify how ad budgets might impact marketers’ profits and losses.

“Turner is working hand-in-hand with advertisers to provide radical transparency, and to lead a shift a way from proxy metrics like ‘eyeballs’ in favor of hard insights on how media buys determine business outcomes,” said Wes Nichols, senior VP and chief strategy officer of Neustar, which owns MarketShare. “MarketShare is proud to deliver the analytics and software technology that makes these trailblazing efforts possible.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.