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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 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 mendax on Monday September 21 2020, @04:06AM (2 children)

    by mendax (2840) on Monday September 21 2020, @04:06AM (#1054227)

    My housemate installed some malware onto his phone that turned it into an ad-viewing machine. You couldn't do anything with it without waiting for some commercial to complete. If this is the kind of advertising AT&T wants then I want nothing to do with it. I can imagine having to wait for an ad to complete before making a 911 call.

    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by EJ on Monday September 21 2020, @04:22AM (1 child)

    by EJ (2452) on Monday September 21 2020, @04:22AM (#1054234)

    No. You pick up the phone, dial 911, then get "We'll connect you to 911 after these brief messages..."

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21 2020, @05:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21 2020, @05:09AM (#1054245)

      And since it is targeted advertising, it will be one of those smarmy "Have you been in an accident?" lawyer ads . . .