Sam Tan
Sep 30, 2019

How Xandr is building for the future of advertising

Xandr's Sam Tan on the ad tech company's trio of platform and marketplace offerings—Xandr Invest, Xandr Monetize and Community—and its vision for premium video and TV

Sam Tan, senior director of market development, JAPAC, Xandr
Sam Tan, senior director of market development, JAPAC, Xandr
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Text: Sam Tan, senior director of market development, JAPAC, Xandr

According to Xandr’s second annual Relevance Report, 51% of consumers feel that an effective ad is one that meets a current need when it appears, while 70% of consumers are adverse to ads that interrupt what they’re doing.

In other words, and likely to no surprise, it’s more important to have a strong ad campaign and direct it to an interested target audience at the right moment, than to bombard audiences with irrelevant ads repeatedly. That should come as a relief for the combined 71% of advertisers who reported budget limitations and ad fatigue as the top two obstacles facing their campaigns.

In an age when the quality of an ad is more important than the quantity, it is imperative that advertisers understand who their audience is, the kind of content they consume, and where and how they consume it, in order to best engage with them.

Since its acquisition of AppNexus last year, AT&T has combined its suite of advertising tools under the Xandr brand, as well as enhanced forecasting and analytics capabilities for both buy-and sell-side customers.

An integrated approach to advertising

In June, we introduced our strategic buying platform, Xandr Invest, and three months later, relaunched and enhanced our selling platform, Xandr Monetize. These announcements followed our (albeit US centric) launch of Community, a premium advertising marketplace acting as a curated bridge between the two. All the while, an open and collaborative approach remains at the heart of Xandr, with strategic partnerships forged with the likes of Singapore Media Exchange (SMX), Star Media Group, Kompas and Tencent Thailand.

Billed as a strategic buying platform built for the future of advertising, Xandr Invest leverages AI tools to help buyers better understand and strategically connect with audiences across devices in premium, brand-safe environments. As digital and TV silos give way to converged buying, the will evolve buying practices to drive better business results for advertisers, while reaching interested consumers however they view content.

Xandr Monetize was developed in response to consumers whose content consumption habits have increasingly fragmented across devices. Encompassing an ad server, SSP, and forecasting & yield analytics, Xandr Monetize allows publishers to streamline the way they package, sell and measure the cross-screen performance of their inventory.

Meanwhile, Community, accessible for buying through Xandr Invest, provides advertisers exclusive access to premium video content from WarnerMedia as well as other publishers like Hearst Magazine, Bloomberg, Tubi and Vice.

The growing potential of OTT

As you can tell, Xandr is investing heavily in video. OTT in particular is on the rise in Asia, partly due to the fact that many consumers in the region are online or digital natives, and partly due to a rising middle class who are turning their attention from basic necessities to luxury and entertainment. Online video revenue will grow at a 21% compounded annual growth rate across APAC between 2017 and 2022, climbing from US$18 billion to US$46 billion, says a Media Partners Asia report. 

Xandr Invest’s robust inventory runs the gamut from TV and mobile to audio and display but the ad spend for video, including OTT, is most impressive, with double digit growth year-over-year. It’s a trend that we expect to continue, and we have already announced plans to further strengthen our OTT strategy.

From the sell-side, Xandr Monetize now allows publishers to sell OTT inventory programmatically, primarily through the open-source Prebid. With the Programmatic OTT with Prebid, buyers can compete for OTT with server-side header bidding for the first time.

The offering also includes Programmatic Guaranteed, meaning publishers can pre-agree on reserved inventory commitments. This will allow for greater control on par with TV norms, including brand safety and frequency.

When AT&T acquired AppNexus last year, we assured customers and consumers alike that we were committed to international markets and the many relationships we have forged over the more than 10 years as AppNexus. Doubling down on this promise with headcount investment around the globe, Xandr has remained committed to our international growth and clients.

If anything has changed over the past year, it’s that with the powerful technology from AppNexus and the backing of AT&T, we now have greater resources to execute on our mission to grow a premium, international advertising marketplace for the future of advertising. 
 

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