US telco AT&T’s advanced advertising division Xandr today announced the launch of a new demand-side platform (DSP), ‘Xandr Invest’. Xandr already owns a DSP through AT&T’s acquisition of AppNexus last year, and the new offering is built of AppNexus’ buy-side tech. But the company says the new platform is more future-focussed, with a heavy emphasis on the converged buying of digital and TV inventory.
The new platform will give buyers access to omnichannel inventory including TV, over-the-top (OTT), mobile, digital video, audio, native, and display. The renewed focus on video and OTT aligns with AT&T’s substantial TV business in the US which the company also plans to roll out in other markets. The DSP will enable programmatic guaranteed deals, and will use a “machine learning optimisation system” which Xandr says will help advertisers buy more efficiently.
Not much information has been given about which publishers’ inventory will be available on the platform, but Xandr has announced it will be the exclusive source of inventory from Community, its recently announced video marketplace which includes content from various WarnerMedia brands as well as Vice, Hearst Magazines, Newsy, Philo, Tubi and XUMO.
One of Xandr Invest’s big draws for US advertisers will likely be its use of AT&T subscriber data – as VAN has previously reported, AT&T has been one of the more proactive telcos in terms of leveraging customer data for advertising. Advertisers using Xandr Invest will have access to ‘Xandr Audience Segments’, which the company says are initially developed from AT&T’s 170 million direct relationships with consumers. “Client sophistication in programmatic is reaching a new level of maturity which means more demand for customisation and an integrated approach to supply,” said GroupM US’s chief strategy officer Evan Hanlon. “We look forward to the cross-platform audience access, applying AT&T’s deterministic data, and the machine learning capabilities promised by the Xandr Invest platform.”
And the company is also selling Invest as a tool to help drive the convergence of TV and digital video buying. Xandr says it will begin to incorporate tools and services which will over time enable traditional TV buying capabilities via the platform. “We’ve brought a platform to market that doesn’t just meet advertisers where they are now, but sets them up to capitalise on the future of advertising as digital and TV begin to converge,” said Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus.