AT&T to funnel all programmatic spend through Xandr and AppNexus

AT&T is consolidating its programmatic ad spend with AppNexus, moving from using several demand-side suppliers to just one.

Following on from its acquisition of adtech outfit last year, the company will now funnel the programmatic slice of its estimated $1.6bn ad budget through its own business unit Xandr — which comprises AppNexus along with AT&T’s advanced TV, data and analytics businesses, and AdWorks.

As a result, AppNexus will be the only DSP to handle open exchange buying across AT&T's portfolio – including its eponymous telecoms business and WarnerMedia. AppNexus' marketplace includes premium, brand-safe inventory across video and connected TV and other formats like native advertising and AT&T's programmatic spend is reported to be in the tens of millions.

"As one of the largest advertisers in the US we are excited to scale our spend with AppNexus as Xandr re-imagines the future of advertising and customer engagement," said Fiona Carter, chief brand officer for AT&T Communications.

Carter said the move would help AT&T place its advertising in "premium, measurable, targetable and brand safe environments" to build brands and drive performance.

Through Xandr, AT&T is also developing a host of TV planning, campaign management, and measurement capabilities.

When AT&T snapped up AppNexus in a deal thought to be worth over $1bn last June, it said it hoped the takeover would accelerate the growth of its ad platform and strengthen its presence in the fast developing advanced TV sector.