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AT&T Media Strategy 2019


Examine the multi-billion-dollar investment into wireless, video and advertising services by AT&T in the report “AT&T Media Strategy 2019. The report explores whether AT&T will reshape the media market in the United States for millions of subscribers to its cable services.

Providing an initial look at AT&T’s strategy, the report is designed to give analysts, vendors and strategists an accurate understanding of how AT&T’s strategy and investment has and will unfold over the next 12-24 months.

The report is a first in a series BIA will publish with partners to examine the technical advancements that are having a dramatic effect on the media business.


With the purchase of Time Warner, AT&T has doubled down on its video and digital advertising investment with variety of deep offers to its subscribers.

From the initial U-Verse to DIRECTV, and now with the Time Warner & Turner content play, AT&T is attempting to deepen their position as a major content provider. The wild card will be how advertising is being sold and shaped with AT&T’s Xandr platform. This dramatically changes the former Turner approach and is aligned differently from the Open AP consortium.

The report, AT&T Media Strategy 2019, traces AT&T’s first foray into the media business in 2006 and the subsequent steps it has taken, by strategic acquisition, to execute a bold strategy to propel their growth and potential to compete against the industry’s leading content providers.

Outlined in the report is the foundation of the strategy and challenges faced by AT&T for the massive investments it made over a three-phased approach.  The sections in the report include:

  • Approval to Proceed
  • Media Part 1 – Build Your Own (U-verse)
  • Media Part 2 – Buy-In for Scale (DIRECTV)
  • Media Part 3 – Move Upstream (Time Warner)
  • Pay-TV Industry Revenue Structure
  • Advertising Direction (Xandr)
  • Media Action Plan
  • Initial Plan Execution
  • Summary and Conclusions

“Why is AT&T making such a strong media bet? Their success in this endeavor is predicated on a bold plan to change the fundamental profitability structure of U.S. pay-TV. The report breaks down and explores a structural understanding of the investments that have led to an all-in strategy for AT&T media by foregoing the classic metric-driven analysis.”

Paul Connolly, BIA advisor and report author

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