AT&T’s New Buy-Side Tool Aims to ‘De-Silo’ Media Buying Across Screens

Xandr Invest to unify campaign execution

AT&T's Xandr to offer a full-stack solution that can execute media buys across screens.
Xandr/AT&T

AT&T’s media and advertising arm today unveiled a proprietary buy-side tool called Xandr Invest, the culmination of a year’s worth of investment which it claims will unify the media buying process across digital and broadcast channels.

Xandr Invest is pitched as a suite to ease some of the complications of contemporary media buying with an offering that acts as a one-stop-shop where advertisers can access multiple types of brand-safe inventory, including linear TV, OTT, mobile and digital video.

The tool offers targeting capabilities using an identity solution based on deterministic data derived from AT&T’s direct relationships with an audience base of more than 170 million across its owned and operated properties.

Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus, Xandr’s specialist ad-tech arm, said, “We’ve brought a platform to market that doesn’t just meet advertisers where they are now, but sets them up to capitalize on the future of advertising as digital and TV begin to converge.”

The rollout builds on the AppNexus demand-side platform also includes a new UI, improved campaign monitoring plus new buying capabilities including programmatic guaranteed, according to Suzanne O’Kelley, vp buyer products at Xandr.

“Many platforms are viewed as lacking the level of control advertisers need to drive truly outstanding results,” she said. “Xandr Invest is built on a legacy of powerful, customizable technology. What’s new is a streamlined, insights-driven user experience that can deploy custom strategies through an intuitive and highly automated interface.”

Last month’s upfronts presentation saw the unveiling of Xandr’s ad exchange, called Community, which acts as a digital marketplace catering to advertisers hungry to reach its larger partners, including WarnerMedia properties like CNN and TNT, along with smaller ones like Vice and Newsy.

Per the company, Xandr Invest will act as Community’s exclusive buy-side platform, turning Xandr into a central hub for both sides of the advertising food chain.

“From the beginning, Xandr has been clear that we intend to build a premium video marketplace for buyers and sellers, that improves the consumer experience,” noted O’Kelley. “Community is exactly that. [It’s] not just a solution for AT&T content, [it] is made up of more than 15 premium publishers and programmers.”

A press release detailing the launch contains testimonials from leading media agency executives which describe the need for media buying platforms to evolve.

Andrew Goode, evp programmatic at Havas Media Group, North America, spoke of the need for “customization capabilities and focus on platform transparency,” which could lead to efficiency for his outfit’s media traders.

“Client sophistication in programmatic is reaching a new level of maturity which means more demand for customization and an integrated approach to supply,” added Evan Hanlon, chief strategy officer at GroupM, U.S.

Catherine Sullivan, chief investment officer at Omnicom Media Group, North America, said such an approach can lead to “a new level of relevance and effectiveness” that translates to better business results for clients.

Ronan Shields contributed to this post.