AT&T launched a new advertising company called Xandr last week led by CEO Brian Lesser. “Xandr is a name that draws inspiration from AT&T’s rich history, including its founder Alexander Graham Bell, while imagining how to innovate and solve new challenges for the future of advertising,” said Lesser.
“Our purpose is to Make Advertising Matter and to connect people with the brands and content they care about. Throughout AT&T’s 142-year history, it has innovated with data and technology, making its customers’ lives better. Xandr will bring that spirit of innovation to the advertising industry.”
Advanced Television to Power Direct Advertisements on a Household Level
Xandr includes our existing advertising business which is about a $2 billion dollar television ad sales business, television and digital. We had an internal data project to pull all the data together across all of AT&T, and over the summer we completed an acquisition of AppNexus so that’s all now rolled up into Zander.
The fastest growing part of our business is what we call advanced television. We sell quite a bit of television advertising but the most popular products we sell are television advertising powered by data using technology to direct advertisements on a household level. What that means is you and your neighbor could be watching the exact same program and getting different ads within the same content based on the behaviors of your household.
Individuals Have a Control Over Their Data
AT&T is a 140-year-old company and we have a lot of respect for our customers and therefore how we treat data is a big part of our advertising business and our advertising program and our policy is dependent on us having that relationship. This means customers should always understand how and when we’re using data. They should always have choices as to how we use it and they will have control of it.
Most of the information we get has to do with how AT&T interacts with you such as an app like the AT&T app, DIRECTV, or other information that you give us as a customer. The policy is the data that we collect from our customers always stays within our systems and we don’t sell data for advertising purposes. When we buy data to supplement that’s anonymized data and we never know who a person is.
We have a profile in a database that says not you but an anonymous version of you likes to watch certain programs on television, you have certain apps installed on your phone and then we can buy data from brokers to augment our understanding and serve you relevant ads.