(Reuters) – AT&T Inc is contemplating providing wi-fi telephone plans partially sponsored by promoting as quickly as a yr from now, Chief Government John Stankey mentioned in an interview on Tuesday.
The consideration, which has not been beforehand disclosed, underscores AT&T’s dedication to the promoting enterprise because the U.S. telephone service evaluations its portfolio to establish property to promote with the intention to cut back its debt load. AT&T is contemplating promoting its advertising-technology unit Xandr, sources conversant in the matter have advised Reuters.
“I consider there’s a section of our buyer base the place given a alternative, they might take some load of promoting for a $5 or $10 discount of their cell invoice,” Stankey mentioned.
Varied firms together with Amazon.com Inc, Virgin Cell USA and Dash’s Enhance Cell have examined promoting supported telephone companies for the reason that early 2000s however they haven’t caught on. AT&T is hoping that higher promoting focusing on might revive the concept.
The deliberate launch of an ad-supported model of AT&T’s video-streaming service HBO Max subsequent yr will function a “foundational aspect” that can present new promoting stock, and could be key to new telephone plans supported by advertisements, Stankey mentioned with out providing particulars.
Stankey mentioned ad-supported telephone plans may very well be launched in “a yr or two.”
AT&T engineers are creating “unified buyer identifiers,” Stankey mentioned. Such know-how would permit entrepreneurs to establish customers throughout a number of gadgets and serve them related promoting.
The power to positive tune advert focusing on would permit AT&T to promote advertisements at greater charges, he mentioned.
AT&T has invested in creating focused promoting by itself media properties utilizing knowledge from its telephone, TV and web prospects, however the firm has been “slower in developing the curve” on increasing its market that enables advertisers to make use of AT&T knowledge to focus on different media firms’ audiences, Stankey mentioned.
In March, AT&T’s Xandr struck a deal to companion with Walt Disney Co and AMC Networks to let advertisers purchase TV commercials throughout the networks
AT&T’s promoting market, which contains knowledge from exterior AT&T, might face privateness challenges as shoppers specific rising concern about monitoring of their media use throughout platforms and legal guidelines such because the California Client Privateness Act have been handed.
“I don’t know if we will rely on it in perpetuity,” Stankey mentioned, referring to using non-AT&T-owned knowledge.
Stankey, who final week penned an op-ed for Politico stating that the U.S. authorities ought to present subsidies to encourage firms to construct fiber broadband networks in underserved areas, mentioned within the Reuters interview that AT&T believes it might double its fiber footprint if it had the financial incentive.
Fiber or fiber optics are skinny cables typically put in underground that permit firms to ship web companies to properties. AT&T makes use of fiber to ship web to properties and companies in addition to to energy its 5G community.
AT&T’s fiber at the moment passes 18 million properties in the USA. The corporate might develop that quantity by three million to five million properties per yr, he added.
Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Helen Coster, Krystal Hu and Kenneth Li in New York; Enhancing by Cynthia Osterman