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AT&T Aims to Boost Advertising Business through Xandr

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

AT&T names its advertising segment

AT&T (T) has recently named its advertising and analytics division Xandr. It’s led by CEO Brian Lesser and includes the technology businesses of AdWorks, AppNexus, and AT&T’s advanced TV and data and analytics businesses.

AT&T believes Xandr will use consumers’ data, premium content, distribution, and targeted technology to drive advertising revenue to more than 170 million wireless and TV subscribers. The division also aims to provide compelling ads to its TV and mobile-phone audiences.

The company has also partnered with cable provider Altice USA and Frontier Communications as TV advertising partners. AT&T, through addressable TV, will combine data with advertising technology to allow advertisers to reach their audiences more effectively.

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AT&T to grow advertising business

AT&T has been focusing on expanding its targeted ad business to better compete with dominant players Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google and Facebook (FB). According to market research firm eMarketer, Amazon (AMZN) is the third-largest digital advertiser in the United States after Facebook and Google. It has pushed back Verizon’s (VZ) Oath, Snap, and Microsoft in the space. Total US digital ad spending is poised to grow from $13.23 billion in 2017 to ~$22.18 billion in 2021.

AT&T’s recent acquisition of online advertising company AppNexus should add to its ad-supported premium video content portfolio, which includes Turner Network, Audience Network, and Otter Media. AppNexus will provide publishers with software to automate ad sales in formats such as a display, audio, and over-the-top video. AppNexus also works with marketers to help them buy ads.

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