AT&T has unveiled Xandr Monetize, a suite of ad-tech tools it procured in its $1.6 billion purchase of AppNexus, a company that was arguably the poster child for independent ad tech.
Xandr’s sell-side toolset contains enhanced solutions for the automated trading of television ad space, a prospect that many have identified as the next wave of growth for ad tech.
This includes an open-source approach to helping media owners sell their OTT inventory using ad tech, primarily via Prebid, an open-source project AppNexus helped cofound with contemporaries such as Rubicon Project in 2017.
Per Xandr, the refreshed platform includes improved inventory management tools for online display ad sales (including video) across different devices via its premium ad marketplace called Community.
Xandr is also promising that its platform has differentiated sources of buyer demand, with access to Community’s ad inventory restricted to its buy-side toolset called Xandr Invest. Additionally, the telco’s ad tech arm is also promising enhanced forecasting and analytics capabilities to both buy- and sell-side players, all of which will bolster media owners’ monetization options.
According to Xandr, these tools let publishers focus on their core competencies of content creation while relieving them of the concerns of using rival ad platforms that may have conflicting interests.
“Now, with the size, scale and resources of AT&T, we are uniquely positioned to offer the scaled, streamlined selling platform the industry needs,” Ryan Christensen, svp of product at Xandr, said in a statement. “With the launch of Xandr Monetize, our future is primed for collaboration that expands and enriches what media companies offer their advertisers and consumers.”
On the importance of neutrality on ad platforms, Carsten Schwecke, chairman of Germany-based cooperative Media Impact, which represents publishers such as Axel Springer and Funke Mediengruppe, said in a statement: “The reality for premium publishers in today’s market is that the major platforms are self-interested, yet Xandr’s goals have been consistently aligned with publishers on the open internet. Through premium deals and holistic demand channel management, Xandr Monetize sets us up to strategically optimize global revenue.”
Amit Chaturvedi, evp and head of revenue operations and ad products at WarnerMedia Ad Sales, also said in a statement how an open-source approach would better aid his attempts to automate the company’s OTT inventory.
“Programmatic OTT with Prebid will be essential to better managing inventory within client campaigns and realizing higher yield for our premium content. We have already tested it and are very excited to deploy this capability,” he said.