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The Big Story: Must See TV

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

The past couple of months have been big for TV. Yes, the Super Bowl is just around the corner and Netflix et al. are hyping up their shows.

But the most interesting news, at least for advertisers, isn’t what’s on the screen – it’s all the maneuvering that’s happening behind it.

During AT&T’s earnings call Wednesday, CEO Randall Stephenson noted that 2019 will be “a year of development” for its ad unit Xandr, so the real proof-in-the-pudding will start to show in 2020. But already, Xandr has something to show for itself. As of January, AT&T’s first party data is available via Xandr for activation on Turner.

Meanwhile, NBCUniversal’s digital and linear inventory will be trafficked through the FreeWheel ad server. Could this be a prelude to programmatic activations for linear?

It’s a small success story for FreeWheel, which was reeling from the loss of its Disney business to Google.

So we’re seeing the infrastructure start to get set in place to eventually enable sophisticated ad buying across both digital and linear.

Yet, it’s all happening at a time when marketers are starting to experience consumer pushback around the use of data in advertising.

There are a lot of pieces to what’s turning into a sprawling, complicated puzzle – and this week on The Big Story, the AdExchanger team starts to put some of them together.

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