A+E Networks and Crown Media Join Xandr Invest Platform

A+E Networks and Crown Media Family Networks are the latest media companies to make their linear television inventory available through Xandr Invest, the programmatic buying platform of Xandr, AT&T’s advanced advertising and analytics unit.

Xandr, AT&T’s advanced advertising and analytics unit, launched the Invest platform in March and announced that AMC Networks, Disney and WarnerMedia were participating in an open beta test.

Buyers can use Invest to access the networks’ linear private marketplaces (PMPs), which are hosted on linear supply-side platform Clypd, acquired last fall by Xandr.

Networks that make their linear, ad-supported inventory available through the platform can offer advertising buys that combine standard linear and targeted advanced audiences.

The addition of A+E Networks and Crown Media increases the number of available networks to buyers to 52, with combined reach of 90% of the U.S. population. A+E and Crown already uses Xandr’s Monetize SSP for programmatic sales of their OTT video inventory.  

AT&T and other brands are now in the process of planning, buying and executing campaigns using custom audience segments across Xandr’s programmer partners, Xandr reports.

Xandr has gone through restructuring and leadership changes at AT&T, and within its own ranks, since it was formed in 2018, when AT&T bought the buy-side platform AppNexus for $1.6 billion and rebranded it.

In April, after Jason Kilar was named CEO of WarnerMedia, AT&T merged Xandr into WarnerMedia.

Xandr and Warnermedia said they would continue to offer advanced advertising solutions, including the Xandr Monetize sellers' platform, as well as the Invest addressable video marketplace.

At the time, AT&T CEO John Stankey said there was “still much more that need[ed] to be done to integrate and coordinate more closely our go-to-market functions between Xandr and WarnerMedia.”

Some reports suggested that AT&T was impatient with the speed of Xandr’s ramp-up, and that Xandr was starting to have trouble signing more third-party advertising inventory partners for the SSP media marketplace.  

In August, Mike Welch, who had been executive vice president, product and business development at Xandr, was named head of the company, succeeding Kirk McDonald, who had in turn succeeded Brian Lesser.

In September, The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T was exploring a sale of Xandr. AT&T and Xandr have not commented on whether a sale is still being considered.

An unrevealed number of Xandr employees were affected by the latest round of layoffs last week at WarnerMedia, which continues to restructure to focus on HBO Max and the video streaming business.

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