How the AT&T/Time Warner Acquisition Will Affect Marketing

Topics: Axis41, Merkle

The deal is done. After a nearly two-month trial, federal judge Richard Leon ruled against the Department of Justice to grant the $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T.

As a telecommunications company that provides broadband and phone services, AT&T will now control networks like CNN, HBO, and TNT, the Harry Potter franchise, and certain rights to the NBA and MLB. Much has already been speculated about what this all means for consumers, with most experts predicting a rise in prices. Additionally, it will likely lead to the approval of further mergers, with all eyes on the anticipated CVS and Aetna deal, and the purchase of 21st Century Fox by either Comcast or Disney.

But what does this mean for the world of marketing and advertising? What will change when a behemoth company like AT&T takes control of the content and distribution of such a vast amount of media?

Addressable Advertising

As it turns out, television advertising may begin to look similar to what digital advertising has recently become. Today, user data is tracked and targeted on devices, with the most relevant content served up differently for individual consumers. With the vertical acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T will have the ability to deliver the same individualized consumer experiences across computers, devices, and now televisions.

This technique, known as addressable advertising, allows marketers to serve up different ads to different televisions. For years, households across the nation would see the same ads during a nationally televised program. But now, for instance, a luxury retail company could target more affluent households to serve up their particular ad. While one household may see a designer perfume ad, another would simultaneously see an ad for car insurance.

In fact, AT&T has recently been building a new advertising and analytics department for addressable advertising. By bulking up on media buying and advertising technology veterans like Brian Lesser and Kirk McDonald, AT&T has positioned itself to speak to consumers at every turn—something that has never been done before at such a large scale.

Axis41 Precision Experiences

Axis41, a Merkle Company, has helped pioneer the world of individualized customer experiences across digital platforms with our expertise in branding, technology, and data. To learn how we can help your organization thrive at the forefront of the marketing changes that lie ahead with this acquisition, contact us today.