AT&T’s Xandr Ad Unit Adds A+E, AMC And Cheddar To Its Community Offering

Xandr, AT&T’s advertising technology unit, has added A+E Networks, AMC Networks and Cheddar as partners in Community, its marketplace for publishers.

The new companies join WarnerMedia’s CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, B/R Live, Otter Media, and Warner Bros., as well as VICE, Hearst Magazines, Newsy, Philo, Tubi, and Xumo as participants in Community.

After acquiring ad-tech company AppNexus in 2018, AT&T merged it into Xandr around the same time it also completed the $81 billion acquisition of Time Warner. “Advanced advertising,” or the ability to offer advertisers sophisticated targeting combined with top-shelf TV and video content, was a key premise of the Time Warner deal.

Investors and analysts have been eager to see the fruits of the merger materialize. AT&T stock is down more than 15% since the deal was originally announced in October 2016, though it has ticked up 7% in 2019 to date. The telecom and media giant is slated to report quarterly earnings on Wednesday.

The technology that came to AT&T via AppNexus allows publishers to automate ad sales in a range of formats using software. Community offers advertisers access to premium content at scale through multi-seller deals, while providing publishers a way to increase the value of their inventory and improve monetization. (“Publishers” in the digital world can mean a range of content providers.)

Xandr’s launch of Community in May followed WarnerMedia’s withdrawal from OpenAP, a similar offering uniting multiple companies. Fox, Viacom and NBCUniversal remain members of OpenAP. In an appearance at an investor conference earlier this year, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Viacom was likely to sign up for Community, but that arrangement has yet to be finalized.

“At its core, Community is all about helping our content partners succeed in getting the best value for their premium content,” Xandr CEO Brian Lesser said. “By bringing together all of this great content that is backed by sophisticated consumer analytics and incredible technology, Community is able to provide a better solution for advertisers and a better experience for consumers.

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