During Edward Norton's long acting career, the Golden Globe Award winner has enjoyed a side gig backing tech start-ups like Uber, data analytics firm Kensho and crowdfunding site CrowdRise. He started way back in 2000 as founding investor of wastewater treatment company Baswood.
It doesn't take long in start-up land to learn that data science and analytics are being applied to every industry, and quickly. Norton is now working to bring some of that power to his own business.
For his latest endeavor, Norton has teamed with poet Daniel Nadler and one of Facebook's first investors on a project designed to measure in real time the effectiveness of TV ads. The company is called EDO, which stands for Entertainment Data Oracle, and its technology is already being used by ESPN, Turner, CNBC owner NBCUniversal and Paramount, providing insights into which ads viewers like or what parts of movies audiences love.
Media companies can use that data to fund shows and films that have a greater chance of financial success.
"I saw firsthand in my work in making, marketing and distributing movies that TV advertising was a huge part of marketing budgets, yet the only measurement of whether that was effective was a very simplistic measure of exposure that's not even very reliable in today's world," Norton said in an interview. "We felt like EDO could bring the kind of rigorous data-driven and actionable analytics that digital advertising has had for years to the huge budgets on TV. If we did that, we felt like we'd be able to help the efficiency of the entire media ecosystem for creators and consumers."