AT&T Unveils Xandr, Its Newly Rebranded Ad-Tech Unit

Telco also announces collaborations with Altice and Frontier Communications

AT&T has unveiled the overhaul of its advertising and analytics unit headed by advertising CEO Brian Lesser. Xandr
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AT&T today announced the rebrand of its AdCo unit, unveiling Xandr at its inaugural Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Xandr will house all of the telco’s data-led offerings, including its pre-existing advanced TV service AT&T AdWorks, its analytics business and the recently acquired ad-tech unit AppNexus.

Advertising and Analytics head Brian Lesser, who joined AT&T a little over 12 months ago from GroupM North America, said the decision to name the company Xandr was inspired by its founder Alexander Graham Bell and was indicative of its purpose to “solve new challenges for the future of advertising.”

Per a statement issued this morning, this will be based on four key attributes the newly branded unit now houses: advanced advertising technology (AppNexus), AT&T’s distribution base of more than 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships, premium content (through its planned Time Warner purchase) and data.

“Our purpose is to make advertising matter and to connect people with the brands and content they care about,” Lesser said in a statement.

The company also used the launch to announce collaborations with Altice USA and Frontier Communications to aggregate and sell their national addressable TV advertising inventory and form the foundation of a national TV marketplace for advertisers and premium content publishers.

AT&T hopes Xandr will be a “one-stop shop” for advertisers via the aggregation of its own addressable TV inventory and inventory from MVPDs along with the data and ad tech at its disposal.

The telco also announced its inaugural Xandr Relevancy Report, which found that over half (57 percent) of consumers surveyed thought the TV ads they saw were not relevant to them, while 66 percent wish the ads they’re served are more relevant to their lifestyle.

@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.