Verizon® and AT&T® Execs on What Augurs for Content and Consumers

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The telecommunications company AT&T® is all set to bring together three hundred media, entertainment, and advertising executives later this month in a resort in Santa Barbara, California. The telecommunications leaders will present an industry research and will launch a brand name for its analytics and advertising business.

Fresh off the Time Warner® and AppNexus acquisitions, AT&T® has huge plans for the advertisement sector. The fastest internet provider plans to automate the purchasing and selling of TV advertisements. It wants to recalibrate which audiences see which advertisements. The eventual aim is to merge premium video sales with those of native and digital display in the exact large marketplace.

All these aims are in service of the transformation of AT&T® into a “modern media company,” with a stack of data, content, advertisement distribution, and technology. Experts say that this model could give a path forward for the ad industry, which is otherwise dominated by Facebook and Google.

To match that, the Telco giant requires some of its competitors’ cooperation. As it turned out, the acquisition has made the company a competitor to many advertising and media industry players.

“We want to be able to support this entire ecosystem,” said AT&T’s Chief Marketing Officer of Advertising, Kirk McDonald. “A duopoly has formed in digital where two companies that didn’t spend their time bickering with the rest of the ecosystem are emerging in [a leadership] position. TV and premium video feels to us to be a place to do this right, and we don’t intend to make those mistakes.”

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Until recently, Verizon® seemed to have ambitions similar to that of AT&T®. Verizon® invested big into Hollywood in order to expand a mobile streaming service called “Go90,” which incidentally flamed out in less than one year. Verizon® acquired AOL as well as Yahoo! and merged both companies into its subsidiary named “Oath”. The carrier now aspires to stay in a position where it can collaborate with as many content providers as possible. It stands by the subsidiary despite an underperformance, but content production of Oath is centered on verticals namely news, sports, finance, and entertainment.

“Choice is the most important thing. We will focus on specific content that we believe is where the content industry is going—not where it has been—and we are going to be leveraging Oath to develop that content,” said Rima Qureshi, the Chief Strategy Officer of Verizon®. “We’re not going to tie consumers to particular content that they may not want or a bundle they’re not necessarily interested in.”

The direction of both companies is occurring on the brink of what could be a massive shift for the wireless segment – the evolution of 5G cell service.

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