Is “relevance” still… relevant? Over the last few years, advertising “relevance” has, for many ad-tech execs become the holy grail of advertising effectiveness.

For AT&T’s Xandr, however, it is more than that. This September 16 to 18 in Santa Barbara, the company hosts its second Relevance Conference.

In its first year, 2018, the conference effectively announced the creation of Xandr, the advanced advertising and media division which AT&T created after a series of acquisitions.

This year, the conference’s main aim is to explore how consumers are spending their media time, Xandr’s chief marketing officer, Kirk McDonald, explains in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“There are still only 24 hours in the day,” McDonald says. “So, with finite time and near infinite content, how are consumers really making decisions about what they spend their time with?

“For the media producers, the programmers, those that are creating the content, they have become shareholders of attention.”

The conference agenda will hear from executives like…

  • Megan Pagliuca, Chief Data Officer, Hearts & Science
  • Conan O’Brien, TV host and producer
  • Evan Hanlon, Chief Strategy Officer, GroupM
  • Kevin Reilly, President of TBS/TNT/HBO Max
  • Rob Norman Senior Advisor, GroupM

But that’s not all. “AT&T, under Brian (Lesser)’s leadership as our CEO, has given us permission to have a conference that is not [just] a selly conference,” McDonald says. “We’re not [just] bringing customers [and] clients together to try to hock or push a particular product.” The event is also about thought leadership, and getting a new, consumer-focused dialogue started, McDonald said.

Social change: “We’ve already announced two of our Women’s World Cup soccer stars. We’ve got Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe who are joining us. It really is their time … it’s about time that we make some of the changes, we react to the way consumers are behaving.”

Research: “We’re going to do another big bit of industry research. This year we wanted to look at ‘Do consumers begin to understand how advertising is underwriting their access to content and information?'”

Products: “We’ve introduced a bunch of new ad formats on the TV side and we’ll showcase some of those at the conference. This year we’re really proud of having brought a new strategic buying platform to the marketplace… Xandr Invest. We also announced the Community.”

Note: Beet.TV will cover the conference as part of a sponsorship arrangement with Xandr.