Over the past 12 months I’ve written extensively about AT&T’s transformation from a mature telco into a cross-screen video platform with a powerful AdTech back end to serve ads through its proprietary DMP. The linchpin of AT&Ts new strategy is its ad sales platform called Xandr, which can serve ads across a user portfolio ranging from the TV sets of DirectTV viewers, to the smartphones of AT&T Wireless customers, and seemingly everywhere in between.
Xandr’s early progress and its future potential has caught the attention of Comcast, who appears to have fallen behind in the AdTech arms race. According to Elgin Thompson from Digital Capital Advisors, “If brands and advertisers start embracing the AT&T/Xandr model and clients start looking for something similar, there is definitely a case to be made that Comcast wants a seat at the table.” This competitive gap has apparently caught the attention of Comcast’s execs, who are rumored to be in the market to acquire a DSP/DMP hybrid like Cadent or DataXu.
If Comcast ever gets its AdTech house in order they could become a formidable player in the marketplace thanks to their existing scale. Between their NBC Universal networks and Spotlight cable platform, Comcast brings even more addressable scale to the table than AT&T. In my opinion it’s just a matter of how (not if) they’ll organize the data within this scale to compete.
Should be interesting to watch.