Cell phone plans from AT&T could be subsidized moving forward as the company is looking into ad-subsidized options for their customers. The news has come officially from the company CEO John Stankey in a statement.
The official information about the upcoming plans as of now is that “where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill.” Despite this, it is assumed that a major part of the bill will still be paid by the consumers only.
The launch of the subsidized plans will not be instant, as the company expects them to purchase in a year or two.
Offering ad-subsidized products is not a new concept that AT&T is trying out for their service. Rather, many companies are already offering similar products, like Kindle from Amazon.
Many other companies have been offering such products for some time now. Still, Stankey hasn’t revealed anything about the path they would follow as a company to deliver its ad-subsidized product. From what has been in the news, it seems that the advertisements will be targeted at individuals as an audience.
HBO Max version with ad support being launched next year is additional support that the company would receive indirectly on their decision to make their plans ad-subsidized. New advertising inventory will be the clear benefit that AT&T would receive from this change.
Sources suggest that the engineers working at the company are creating “unified customer identifiers,” which will facilitate ads based on users’ interests. Only relevant ads will be shown as opposed to the scenario where such a technology is not present. Marketers would also be able to recognize users through the same to generate the right response.
The same technology could also become a privacy concern in the future because a lot of data based on users’ preferences would be collected by the company when the plans begin. More and more people every day have become concerned about how tech giants use the data collected through apps and technology they use.
Stankey addressed the statements regarding concerns while admitting that he doesn’t know if the company can use that external data for ads “in perpetuity.” Hence, customers might be wary of opting for the plans shortly.
It won’t be the first time that AT&T will be offering ad-subsidized services to their customers. The “Sponsored Data” program was announced back in 2014 by the company, and it allows brands to deliver content without using a part of your data cap. Here, they paid AT&T, but none of the savings were moved towards the carrier’s customers back then.
It is not sure what the new plans might look like, but one can expect something different from what has been seen before.