Turner to use AT&T subscriber data to sell targeted ads

AT&T’s linear channel Turner, which it inherited from its acquisition of Time Warner in 2018, is set to use data from its advertising and analytics division, Xandr, to sell targeted ads on its network.

Turner and Xandr will work together to deliver four new ad offerings for marketers. They will look to create more relevant advertising across Turner’s TV brands with AT&T first-party set-top-box data. In addition, using Xandr’s data capabilities they will aim to fuel more relevant advertising on Turner’s digital properties, such as Boomerang.

The duo will look to expand the reach of branded storytelling to addressable TV and also prove the impact of advertising through attribution.

The aim of the move is to bring advertising up-to-date for traditional TV, according to the company.

“AT&T brought our companies together as part of a vision of developing a modern media company, a key part of which is modernising present day advertising,” said Donna Speciale, president of Turner ad sales.

“We have spent the better part of the last decade with that shared vision, investing in stronger ad solutions and experiences, alongside our continued commitment in producing premium content across entertainment, news, kids and sports. The groundwork has been laid, and now we have the fortune of tapping into Xandr to supercharge our capabilities already out in the marketplace. This will be a win for marketers and for our viewers as the experience becomes more relevant to them.”

The news arrives shortly after it was revealed that AT&T, along with Hulu, is looking to run ads when streamers pause for a break on its various digital platforms.

Today many of these companies are having to spend astronomical figures for quality content and simply will not be able to afford to keep up the pace without ad support.

AT&T has particularly been looking to reduce its debt after its $84.5bn acquisition of Time Warner. At an analyst event the company held for shareholders last year, AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said that company is focused on bringing its debt down so that it is no more than 2.5 times its earnings by the end of 2019.

To further bring down this debt, the company is considering selling off its 10% Hulu stake that it gained from the acquisitions. Speaking at the UBS Media Conference last year, Stephenson also said that the company would rely heavily on its existing HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner content to populate its upcoming streamer. Creating new ad service options could be one further method to decrease this debt.

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