The Big Story: Boiler Room

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The Big Story is a podcast featuring a roundtable of AdExchanger editors talking about the biggest stories from the past week. It is available wherever you subscribe to podcasts.

It was a pressure cooker last week in ad tech land – but then again, when is it not?

Comcast feels the heat from AT&T’s Xandr and knows it must move fast to avoid being left behind as TV advertising finally goes addressable. That’s why, per an AdExchanger report, the company is seriously kicking the tires on dataxu and Cadent.

The irony, of course, is that Comcast was one of the first out the gate to make TV ad buying smarter and better. It purchased Strata in 2005, FreeWheel in 2014 and StickyAds in 2016, to name just a few of its moves.

But Xandr’s AppNexus acquisition and very public aspirations of powering Turner’s digital and linear inventory with AT&T first-party data underscore how Comcast is no longer the only game in town.

Meanwhile, AT&T has instituted an M&A freeze after breaking the bank on Time Warner and AppNexus, Zach Rodgers reported. That’s not to say that Xandr won’t acquire more ad tech – it’ll be back, but for now, it’s on pause.

And while the new strategics – namely big platform content owners – are brimming with acquisition activity, the AdExchanger team checks the pulse on legacy tech company Sizmek. James Hercher recently examined the vendor’s latest struggles, which have resulted in its private equity owner Vector Capital essentially pulling out.

Tune in this week to “The Big Story” as we explore the ad tech industry’s ups, downs and plateaus.

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