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State of the Screens

AT&T Boss Writes Script for HBO: More Data, More Money

By September 19, 2018No Comments

Big question #1: Can AT&T put the pieces in place to compete with Google, Facebook, and Netflix?

Big question #2: Will other networks (their competitors) put differences aside and focus on the common enemy (Google, Facebook, and Netflix)?

Quote from Randall Stephenson — CEO @ AT&T:
“We think we have a couple of years window to stand this up and really make inroads… I have yet to speak to a [chief marketing officer] or an advertiser who says, ‘I wish I could spend more money with Google and Facebook.’ That human being doesn’t exist.”

Flashback #1: What AT&T’s advertising platform will look like

Quote from Brian Lesser– CEO @ AT&T Advertising and Analytics:
“Because we have DirecTV, we are the only company that knows you are watching a big screen in your living room wall and you have a small screen in your pocket… With this knowledge, AT&T can then have an icon appear on the TV screen during a show that indicates there’s a mixed-reality experience on your phone. And without ever interrupting the content, consumers would be able to receive a targeted commercial message on their phone.”

Video: Brian Lesser and Andrew Ross Sorkin discuss AT&T advertising ambitions from the Cannes Lions festival.

Flashback #2: AT&T’s Ambitious Plan to Take On Facebook and Google for Ad Dollars

Top pay-TV providers:
AT&T/DirecTV/Sling — 26.2M
2) Comcast — 21.2M
Charter Spectrum — 16.4M

Top mobile providers:
Verizon — 151.5M
2) AT&T — 143.8M

Addressable TV homes in U.S.:
Total — 60M
AT&T/DirecTV/Sling — 15M (25% of total)

If AT&T offers addressable advertising AND owns the networks the following occurs:
1) Ad pricing — A single ad impression increases 192% from 1.2¢ to 3.5¢ due to improved targeting.

2) Inventory — The number of 30s spots available to AT&T increases 600% from 4 to 28 now that they are both the cable provider and content owner.

3) Total impact — AT&T currently makes roughly $0.05 per hour (4 spots x 1.2¢), but that could increase to $0.98 per hour (28 spots x 3.5¢) if they accomplish #1 and #2.

More: Can AT&T resurrect skinny bundles with engagement pricing?

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.