AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson revealed the company is planning a number of additional acquisitions to help boost its advertising ambitions in the wake of its massive tie up with Time Warner.
The operator previously said it would create a new targeted advertising platform using inventory from Time Warner’s Turner property. Stephenson told CNBC the upcoming deals will be in support of that effort.
“We’re standing up a significant advertising platform. You should expect some smaller, not like Time Warner, but some smaller M&A in the coming weeks to demonstrate our commitment to that.”
In a separate interview with Reuters, John Stankey, who will run AT&T’s new WarnerMedia business, said the shift to targeting will be a boon for both consumers and advertisers by allowing it to run fewer adverts while still reaching the right audience.
The news comes as AT&T begins its integration with Time Warner and pushes ahead with the launch of new ad-supported video models. Stephenson said one such offering, Watch TV, will make its debut this week.
Watch TV will offer a handful of entertainment-focused channels but no sports content, the CEO said. It will be offered for free to AT&T wireless customers on unlimited tariffs, or for $15 per month to non-subscribers.
As AT&T and Time Warner work through the integration process, Stephenson said one of the key challenges will be avoiding a culture clash and instead learning to collaborate to create more mobile-focused entertainment.
“We’re going to run these businesses fairly independently, but there are things we need to do to where we create value together” including “making sure that we’re beginning to think about creating content that is curated and formatted for the mobile environment as well.”