With a nod to the technology legacy of Alexander Graham Bell, AT&T Advertising & Analytics has rebranded itself as Xandr and announced a deal to aggregate and sell the national addressable TV advertising inventory of Altice USA and Frontier Communications.
The news comes as AT&T convenes The Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara to explain how its communications, data and content assets will create the foundation of a national TV marketplace for advertisers and premium content publishers.
“But as we go forward, what we’ve got to figure out is how do we actually make the advertising less interruptive, more symbiotic to the consumer’s experience and then much more addressable,” Xandr CMO Kirk McDonald says in this interview with Beet.TV. “How are we capturing and understanding the moment that a consumer may be going through something and then giving them an ad that is relevant to them in a moment in time? I think the future is going to be more addressable TV and less interruptive TV for advertising.”
In addition to the new deals with Altice and Frontier, Xandr will also collaborate with a4, Altice USA’s advanced advertising business, to help expand a4’s nationwide addressable digital advertising capabilities.
“By aggregating this video inventory from multiple multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), AT&T’s addressable TV offering starts to provide advertisers with a one-stop shop,” Xandr said in a news release. “This allows marketers to reach the audiences they want to connect with most, while improving yield by helping inventory owners compete more effectively.”
Xandr encompasses AT&T’s advanced TV business, AT&T AdWorks, AT&T’s data and analytics business; ATT.net and AppNexus. While the integration proceeds, the AppNexus name will remain as it pertains to the products and services currently in market supporting U.S. and global customers.
In settling on the new brand name for the company, AT&T wanted to be mindful of its legacy while also looking forward. “The history and legacy of innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, investment all driven toward consumers’ interests has been such a rich part of AT&T’s history for its 142 years,” McDonald notes. “It’s a company that’s reinvented itself a number of times.”
As a modern-day media company, “We wanted a name that would capture all of that.”
According to “surveys and on-the-ground ethnographies” conducted for the inaugural Xandr Relevancy Report, 66% of consumers wish advertisements were more relevant to their interests and lifestyle while 57% said ads are not relevant to them. However, consumers recognized the importance of advertising, with 64% of those surveyed believing advertising enables independent voices to be heard on the Internet, while 70% like when ads go beyond just selling a product.
This video is part of a series leading up to and documenting the Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara. For more videos from the series, please visit this page. The series is sponsored by Xandr, a unit of AT&T.