AT&T may put ads on phones in exchange for a discount

We all know the stress of the mobile bill that comes in every month. It can be so expensive, and if you have a family where every member has a phone, forget about it – it gets ridiculously expensive. AT&T wants to help you, by offering a little discount of $ 5 or $ 10, but you’ll have to accept ads to get those little savings.

AT&T plan to give a discount for running ads

“I think there is a segment of our customer base that, if given a choice, they would accept a certain amount of advertising for a $ 5 or $ 10 reduction in their mobile bill,” AT&T CEO John Stankey said in an interview with Reuters.

Stankey said AT & T’s phone plans that would include ads in exchange for a discount could be available in “a year or two.” The company is already working on its targeted ad system to deliver greater value to the end user. Company engineers create “unified customer identifiers”. This would allow advertisers to identify users who would appreciate the marketing.

AT&T acquired the massive Time Warner Inc. in 2018, leaving it control of HBO. Stankey said an ad-supported version of HBO Max would play a key role in ad-supported phone plans.

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He added that his company was not the first to try advertising-supported phone plans. “Various companies, including Amazon, Virgin Mobile USA, and Sprint’s Boost Mobile, have tested ad-supported phone services since the early 2000s, but they have not been successful. AT&T is hoping that better ad targeting could revive the idea, ”Stankey explained.

Through the US government’s Lifeline program, AT&T already offers subsidized plans to low-income customers. However, this is offered regionally and is not widely available.

AT & T’s previous forays into ad display

In 2015, AT&T attempted to offer advertisements in exchange for a forward discount on its Internet service. Customers who opted for the plan had to agree to allow the company to analyze their web browsing, which served targeted ads to their browsers. Customers who have not opted to pay a higher price. The program ended after just one year, and in 2018 AT&T purchased an advertising company that offers personalized ads.

AT&T communicated its desire to acquire Time Warner Inc. to US government officials in 2017, making “more relevant advertising in ad-supported video services” as the main benefit of the merger.

A few months earlier, in December 2016, then-CEO Randall Stephenson told Congress: “We plan to deliver mobile-optimized content and services and ad-supported services that will drive more consumer costs to advertisers. “

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However, the government of the day had placed limits on the use of personal data by telecoms for advertising purposes, requiring ISPs to first obtain consent from consumers. Later in 2017, this was raised by the new president.

Not only has the government’s attitude changed with its leader, AT&T has changed as well. Stephenson said in 2017 that the company would use tax break to create 7,000 jobs for “people who install fiber [the] sol. ”However, Stankey changed that, limiting fiber expansion, reducing capital spending on its networks and laying off thousands of employees, along with other cost-cutting measures.

And now AT&T wants to offer customers a $ 5 to $ 10 discount in exchange for ads on their phones. It seems like something the company has been pushing for some time, especially after Stankey’s arrival.

AT&T could be busy for the next few years. Along with those plans, a recent test showed its 5G service was testing slower than 4G. It seems like it takes even more work.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces, including more than 10 as editor. She has used Apple products exclusively for three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored editing program.

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