AT&T today launched a new advertising company, to be known as Xandr, that will combine AT&T’s existing advertising and analytics businesses — including AT&T AdWorks, AT&T’s data analytics business, and AppNexus. An AT&T Xandr spokesperson confirmed that the new unit also will be responsible for the company’s web portal and for advertising-related aspects of the company’s advanced video business.

In addition to pursuing advertising opportunities on AT&T platforms, the AT&T Xandr unit also will pursue such opportunities for Frontier and Altice USA. AT&T noted in today’s announcement that by aggregating the video inventory from multiple video service providers, the total addressable TV offering “starts to provide advertisers with a one-stop shop.”

Brian Lesser, who has been responsible for AT&T advertising and analytics will be the Xandr CEO.


The Xandr name is a variation on the name of AT&T’s founder Alexander Graham Bell. AppNexus is the advertising technology company that AT&T acquired in June.

AT&T Xandr
The opportunities that AT&T Xandr aims to pursue involve providing advertisers with addressable audiences and personalizing advertising for those audiences.

According to today’s press release, AT&T Xandr will have four key advantages including “data, premium content, advanced advertising technology and AT&T’s distribution to more than 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships across wireless, video and broadband.”

The company arrived at the 170 million number based on direct-to-consumer relationships involving postpaid, prepaid and reseller wireless, U.S. and Latin American pay-TV, Mexico wireless and U.S. consumer broadband.

In the press release, AT&T cited consumer research commissioned by Xandr that found that 66% of consumers wish advertisements were more relevant to their interests and lifestyle and 70% like when ads go beyond just selling a product.

AT&T already has been getting a premium price for advertising to its customers, according to AT&T CFO John Stephens. He told attendees at a financial conference last year that AT&T was getting a cost per thousand (CPM) close to $35 or $40, in comparison with a going CPM rate of $12 to $13 for non-addressable advertising.

AT&T’s strategy in creating a separate unit with a separate name for its advertising business is a bit like Verizon’s strategy with its Oath brand, but Oath seems to be more heavily focused on online opportunities. AT&T and Verizon share a common uniqueness among major U.S. communications service providers in that both have a landline broadband and major wireless business. Cable company moves into wireless in the last year may have been driven, at least in part, by a desire to gain the ability to target advertising to customers on multiple communications platforms.

Altice is a newcomer to the U.S. cable market and its decision to work with AT&T Xandr suggests the company isn’t following the traditional cable company path of partnering primarily with other cable companies.

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don’t Miss Any of Our Content

What’s happening with broadband and why is it important? Find out by subscribing to Telecompetitor’s newsletter today.

You have Successfully Subscribed!