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WarnerMedia touts Xandr integration, readying ad-supported streaming service

By Andrew Blustein | Reporter

May 15, 2019 | 4 min read

Sporting a new name and a new parent company, WarnerMedia leaned into its partnership with Xandr at the company’s first upfront presentation post-AT&T acquisition.

In his opening remarks, WarnerMedia chief executive officer John Stankey emphasized the network’s position as a new company.

Nasim Pedrad to star in new TBS comedy Chad

Nasim Pedrad to star in new TBS comedy Chad

“We've combined the creative vision, iconic brands and full content portfolio of WarnerMedia with the global reach capabilities and direct consumer relationships of our parent company AT&T,” said Stankey.

“We're working with Xandr to harness AT&T's set-top, router and mobile data to build smarter, relevant, addressable products…. We're investing in premium content across all of our platforms, to create deeper, more meaningful connections with consumers and fans at scale.”

At its upfront presentation Tuesday, Xandr announced the launch of its ad marketplace Community. It will include inventory from WarnerMedia’s portfolio of brands and bridge campaigns across platforms to connected with hard-to-reach consumers.

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Donna Speciale, president of ad sales at WarnerMedia, said that campaigns “cannot be restricted to linear,” claiming that adding video on-demand and digital video to a marketer’s TV plan can extend reach by 22%.

“Linear is critical to your media mix, but today the best way – or the only way – is to advertise on all of our platforms,” said Speciale.

WarnerMedia is getting into the direct-to-consumer game with a streaming service it plans to launch this fall. While it doesn’t yet have a name, Stankey did announce that the company will roll out an ad-supported component to its OTT platform in 2020.

“All of WarnerMedia sales and partnerships are unified. Today, you can have one holistic conversation about all of our content across all of our platforms,” said Speciale. That content also includes Warner Brothers syndicated networks and Otter Media’s digital networks Crunchyroll and Rooster Teeth.

WarnerMedia also introduced a slate of new series, including Snowpiercer, which has already been renewed for a second season. The drama will come to TBS as WarnerMedia is looking to broaden the scope of the network, which focuses on comedy and sports.

The company is also bringing a new wrestling league – All Elite Wrestling – to TNT in the fall. Fox and NBC Universal showed off their WWE rights during their upfront presentations.

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