Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes testified in April that online video streaming platforms had hit the media giant with a “double whammy” by pulling ads online and subscribers out of cable TV bundles.
For AT&T, Time Warner was well worth the wait and hassle – though the case may not yet be over, considering the DOJ may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
AT&T’s Advertising and Analytics group, which the company has been assembling since it hired GroupM’s Brian Lesser last August, is built on a three-legged stool of data, distribution and content, but it hasn’t actually had the content in place to support the product.
Having Time Warner’s Turner television assets, including CNN, TBS and Turner Sports, “is of paramount importance in terms of building the platform,” Lesser said in January at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview.
Lesser positioned the AT&T platform as an alternative to reach addressable audiences at scale without wading through murky video content on YouTube and Facebook. Consumers are bludgeoned by performance advertising online and brands can’t rely on quality content, he said, but “what better canvas to fix that than a marketplace with only professionally produced content?”