AT&T’s WarnerMedia’s advertising revenues recovered in the first quarter -- growing 18% to $1.8 billion, chiefly due to the return of the NCAA “March Madness” tournament on its cable networks.
The men’s college basketball tournament -- NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Tournament -- was cancelled last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WarnerMedia’s Xandr, its advanced advertising division, witnessed total global digital video spend on its platform, from Xandr Invest’s DSP and Xandr Monetize’s SSP, up 75% year-over-year. The primary driver was connected TV.
Video now represents 35% of overall spend on Xandr’s platform.
Total platform spend in Xandr’s markets outside of the United States was up 30%, with video spend up 55% and CTV spend 211% higher.
Even with its overall marketplace platform growth, Xandr's revs declined 5% from $489 million in the same period a year ago to $466 million in first-quarter 2021. In the second-quarter 2020, Xandr's revs fell 25% to $362 million, due to pandemic conditions.
Revenues from Xandr's Ad Tech Marketplace platform, part of Xandr's overall revenue results, increased in first-quarter-2021, according to a spokesperson. Dollar specifics were not disclosed.
Higher ad revenues contributed to WarnerMedia's overall revenues growing 10% in the first quarter to $8.5 million. Higher subscription fees from HBO Max and more content sales were also major factors.
Subscription revenue was up 12.6% to $3.8 billion from higher fees from its direct-to-consumer streamer HBO Max, as well as linear cable TV HBO networks.
Total HBO Max and HBO subscribers grew -- now totaling 44.2 million U.S. subscribers, up from 41.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. There were nearly 64 million globally at the end of the first quarter.
Content revenues grew 3.5% to $3.4 billion, up 3.5%, due to higher sales to HBO Max for theatrical product and higher basic networks licensing.