Saturday, 20 October 2018

AT&T relaunches ad and analytics division as 'Xandr'

By Nick Wood, for Total Telecom
Wednesday 26 September 18

Telco firmly focused on relevant advertising; inks deals with Altice USA, Frontier Communications

AT&T has folded all of its advertising operations into a new, single division, called 'Xandr'. Named after AT&T founder Alexander Graham Bell, the new unit encompasses the U.S. telco's advertising and analytics business, which includes its AdWorks advanced TV business…

AT&T has folded all of its advertising operations into a new, single division, called 'Xandr'.

Named after AT&T founder Alexander Graham Bell, the new unit encompasses the U.S. telco's advertising and analytics business, which includes its AdWorks advanced TV business; AT&T's data and analytics arm; ATT.net; and ad exchange AppNexus, which AT&T acquired in June.

Brian Lesser has been named CEO of Xandr. Lesser joined AT&T in August 2017 from ad-buying giant GroupM.

"Our purpose is to make advertising matter and to connect people with the brands and content they care about," said Lesser, in a statement on Tuesday. "Throughout AT&T's 142-year history, it has innovated with data and technology, making its customers' lives better. Xandr will bring that spirit of innovation to the advertising industry."

To get Xandr off to a flying start, AT&T revealed it has signed agreements with cablecos Altice USA and Frontier Communications to aggregate and sell its national addressable TV inventory.

The launch of Xandr comes just two weeks after AT&T's closest rival Verizon combined the various adtech divisions at its online media arm Oath into a single unit, Oath Ad Platforms. The simplified structure encompasses its video advertising software arm BrightRoll; its ONE by AOL mobile display ad division; and its Yahoo Gemini mobile and native advertising exchange.

Meanwhile, for AT&T and Xandr, the mantra is 'relevance'. The new unit was launched at its very own, inaugural 'Relevance Conference' in Santa Barbara, California.

Accompanying the announcement was the first edition of the 'Xandr Relevancy Report', which conducted some research and discovered that 66% of consumers want adverts that are more relevant to them, while 57% complained that ads are not relevant enough.

No doubt Xandr hopes to enjoy the same lasting relevance as its namesake.

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