Turner Boosts Private-Market Sales

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Turner Broadcasting,which launched its data cloud last May, says its digital programmatic ad sales doubled last year.

“The Turner mantra is reaching our clients’ target audiences with their brands getting meaningful exposure and driving [return on investment],” said Jason Baron, senior VP of direct marketing and programmatic.

Baron said Turner wants to focus on private-market deals—as opposed to open-market deals—where CPMs are higher and there’s better-quality inventory. The value of Turner’s private-market deals is up 175% year over year, he said.

The programmatic business started mostly with display ads, but the video portion of the business is growing fast. The long-term goal is to be screen-agnostic.

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The data cloud has enabled clients to bring Turner their own data, both third-and first-party data. One of the first BYOD, or bring your own data, deals at Turner was with its Time Warner corporate sibling, Warner Bros.

In last year’s fourth quarter, the studio was promoting the Ron Howard movie In the Heart of the Sea. It had data from Time Warner’s Flixster film site on fans of specific films including Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump. “We cross-matched this data with our own system to create a target audience across the Turner Digital ecosystem,” Baron said. While In the Heart of the Sea misfired theatrically, taking in just $90 million worldwide, Baron added, “WB really liked [the data program], and I think we’re going to continue to work with them.”

Jon Lafayette

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.