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Vantage Points: AT&T Media Strategy 2019

by | Sep 12, 2019 | Blog, Vantage Point

In this edition of BIA Advisory Services’ Vantage Points series, Paul Connolly, President of Connolly Network Insight and strategic advisor to BIA, shares keen insights on AT&T’s media strategy and technical advancements that are having a dramatic effect on the media business.

Recently, Paul authored two reports (published as a series) that examine AT&T’s bold strategies to propel their growth as they compete against the industry’s leading content providers to secure a foothold in the age of cord-cutting. Paul shares takeaways from his research in this post.

The Vantage Point series taps the perspectives of various lookout points from around the local media and tech sectors. Email us to discuss a topic for consideration.

Paul Connolly
President of Connolly Network Insight & Strategic Advisor to BIA

AT&T has made huge investments in their technologies yet the biggest media issue AT&T has been facing is the loss of subscribers to their DIRECTV and U-verse base due to cord cutting. Until recently they haven’t effectively been able to stem this tide but now, after quite some time and effort, they are introducing “AT&T TV,” to enable them to defend their installed base. This system is effectively an IP streamed version of DIRECTV and it allows them to offer potential cord cutters a superior product at a potentially lower price.

This is a major advance for AT&T‘s ability to defend their base and becomes the first element of the next phase of their media strategy.

The second element of their strategy is to significantly improve the profitability of both their Pay-TV base and their newly acquired content channels, by solving the long elusive problem of targeted Pay-TV advertising. They are doing this by utilizing their unique asset of over 170 million consumer connections via their wireless, voice, data and video offerings. They’ll then use the insights mined from this data to drive a programmatic video ad exchange being developed by Xandr, their data analytics and advertising organization.

Having the ability to defend their base and increase the value of their media assets via targeted advertising, AT&T is now in a position to implement the third element of their strategy – developing a Direct-to-Consumer streaming service based around the crown jewel of their Time Warner acquisition – HBO.

I examine this next very important phase of AT&T‘s media strategy in the latest installment in the series, AT&T Media Strategy. It covers the 9 steps I believe AT&T will make over the next year to advance their 3-pronged strategy. Read more details here.

Next, I’ll be covering another major player in media, Disney. I’ll examine in detail how Disney has been developing their media strategy by acquiring a stable of global studio brands, and more recently, acquiring the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. Plus, I’ll lay out in particular why all the fuss about the upcoming launch of their Direct-to-Consumer streaming service, Disney+. Watch for this report in the coming weeks. (Email us to be notified when this report is available.)