AT&T CFO outlines advanced ad strategy after Time Warner merger

Time Warner Center. Image courtesy of Time Warner, Inc.
Time Warner Center HQ (Time Warner Inc.)

AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens used an investor conference to drop some knowledge about his company’s advanced ad plans after the Time Warner merger.

Stephens said AT&T will have vast ad inventory across its platforms following the Time Warner acquisition. The company will be able to offer more targeted advertising using data from its broad base of mobile and video subscribers, as well as subscribers to other properties like Otter Media, HBO and Turner Digital.

Stephens said AT&T already gets about two minutes per hour of ad inventory for being a distributor, and that it will get another 14 minutes per hour of inventory once it acquires Time Warner’s ad-supported networks including CNN and TBS.

He said AT&T can marry all that inventory with the data it has from its 40 million video customers (including DirecTV Latin America) and nearly 160 million wireless customers (including Mexico). He said it will translate to opportunities in linear TV, digital and advertising services.

“Those three markets are enormous markets that we haven't significantly tapped into yet and believe that we have a real opportunity to that,” Stephens said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

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Stephens said the company expects a ruling on June 12 in the suit brought against AT&T and Time Warner by the U.S. Department of Justice and stands ready to close if the court rules in its favor. He said the company expects annualized cost synergies of $1.5 billion by the end of the third year after close.