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posted by martyb on Sunday September 20 2020, @10:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the future-plan:-why-not-both? dept.

Exclusive: AT&T considers cellphone plans subsidized by ads:

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc T.N is considering offering wireless phone plans partially subsidized by advertising as soon as a year from now, Chief Executive John Stankey said in an interview on Tuesday.

[...] The consideration, which has not been previously disclosed, underscores AT&T's commitment to the advertising business as the U.S. phone carrier reviews its portfolio to identify assets to sell in order to reduce its debt load. AT&T is considering selling its advertising-technology unit Xandr, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

"I believe there's a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill," Stankey said.

Various companies including Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Virgin Mobile USA and Sprint's Boost Mobile have tested advertising supported phone services since the early 2000s but they have not caught on. AT&T is hoping that better advertising targeting could revive the idea.

The planned launch of an ad-supported version of AT&T's video-streaming service HBO Max next year will serve as a "foundational element" that will provide new advertising inventory, and would be key to new phone plans supported by ads, Stankey said without offering details.

[...] AT&T engineers are creating "unified customer identifiers," Stankey said. Such technology would allow marketers to identify users across multiple devices and serve them relevant advertising.


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  • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Monday September 21 2020, @12:29AM (3 children)

    by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Monday September 21 2020, @12:29AM (#1054159) Journal

    The only people who would be willing to subject themselves to ads on their phone calls are the people who are too poor to buy lots of stuff from the advertisers

    Wow. I modded you insightful.

    I didn't think of that, but it's so true. Ads to people that are willing to put up with ads to save ten dollars a month. What a lose lose win.

    The advertisers are losing because the target audience is poor. The target audience saves 10 bucks but has to suck ads all month, and AT&T laughs all the way to the bank.

    The advertisers should avoid this like Covid-19, but the more money the shitty advertisers waste is a few pennies less spent on web advertisements so I guess that's something.

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21 2020, @01:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21 2020, @01:05AM (#1054164)

    One guy I knew made like 200k a year. He probably would have got something like this. Massively cheapo. He tried to figure out how to get a car without a radio to save 20 bucks. Would dumpster dive for anything. Someone else I worked with put it perfectly 'he probably still has his first communion money'. Wickedly smart and could fix just about anything. But oddly cheap. He would do it but he also would not buy anything from the ad either.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by vux984 on Monday September 21 2020, @01:22AM (1 child)

    by vux984 (5045) on Monday September 21 2020, @01:22AM (#1054170)

    So it would be ads for services poor people shouldn't use but do.

    - Fast food/processed food
    - Payday loans / credit services
    - Facebook games with microtransactions
    - lotteries
    ...

    • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Monday September 21 2020, @03:07AM

      by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Monday September 21 2020, @03:07AM (#1054205) Journal

      So it would be ads for services poor people shouldn't use but do.

      - Fast food/processed food
      - Payday loans / credit services
      - Facebook games with microtransactions
      - lotteries
      ...

      Modded touche, but perhaps insightful.

      Sad, but true. Sigh.

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