LONDON – If where you spend your time and money says a lot about your priorities, AT&T has anted up in a big way on cross-screen addressable advertising with its participation in the acquisition of INVIDI Technologies.
“We’ve been spending a lot of our time and a lot of our money on addressable television,” Mike Welch, Head of Strategy, Product & Business Development for AT&T AdWorks, says during an interview with Beet.TV this week at the Future of TV Advertising Forum.
AT&T, DISH Network and WPP recently announced their joint acquisition of INVIDI, a leader in providing addressable advertising platforms. In addition to extensive distribution in U.S. households, INVIDI is actively deploying its technology and negotiating distribution agreements in Europe, South America and Asia.
“The INVIDI acquisition is just an example of us being very bullish on the future of addressable,” Welch adds. “We think that there’s huge opportunity both domestically and internationally.”
From its billing relationships with TV and mobile customers, AT&T garners verified subscriber identities. When those identities are coupled with third-party data in an anonymous, privacy compliant manner, AT&T can deliver addressable ads to TV sets and mobile devices.
“We’ll do this with our owned and operated apps,” Welch explains. “So if it’s a DIRECTV, TV Everywhere experience that someone is watching on a mobile device, we’ll be able to deliver a specific, targeted ad to that device as well as to their TV set.”
AT&T’s cross-device reach is amplified through a partnership with Opera Mediaworks, the mobile advertising and marketing platform that serves tens of thousands of apps, Welch explains.
“You don’t have to necessarily be watching content on just an AT&T app in order for us to do this cross-screen addressability,” Welch says of the association with Opera Mediaworks.
Asked about the buy-side sentiment for cross-screen addressable solutions, Welch says “We need to continue as sellers to prove that it works. We’re seeing significant lift when you have exposure across screens.”
He cites the case study of an automotive marketer that saw an 85% lift in buy rate among targeted consumers versus a control group that was not exposed to any ads on any screens. “That’s powerful,” says Welch. “If we could get that story out and make believers out of folks, I think you’ll see this market explode.”