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AT&T thinks you might watch ads in exchange for a cheaper phone plan

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

An employee assist a customer with a smartphone at an AT&T Inc. store in Newport Beach, California, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. AT&T Inc. shares surged the most in more than eight years after the telecommunications giant posted a surprise wireless subscriber gain in the second quarter, showing it can fend for itself in a cutthroat price war. An offer for unlimited wireless data, bundled with discounted streaming-TV service, helping AT&T bide its time while awaiting regulatory approval to transform into a media powerhouse through the $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

AT&T is considering offering wireless phone plans partially paid for by advertising, CEO John Stankey said Tuesday.

New York (CNN Business)AT&T is considering offering wireless phone plans partially paid for by advertising, CEO John Stankey said Tuesday.

"I believe there's a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill," Stankey told Reuters.

Ads will be tailored to customers identified across multiple devices, a strategy that could also help the company sell ads for more money, Stankey said.

Stankey told Reuters the company would also benefit from running an ad-supported version of the HBO Max streaming service next year.

AT&T's advertising business called Xandr works with data outside of the company to tailor ads, but over the long term it could face legal scrutiny and privacy concerns over using that data.

Stankey told Reuters, "I don't know if we can count on it in perpetuity. "

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