Monday, September 30, 2013

Exposing Network Features to Create Revenue is Hard, AT&T Seems to Find

AT&T Adworks is one example of how a service provider can monetize what it knows about its customers, providing insight to third party business partners. Virtually nobody thinks that is an easy new business to create. 

And AT&T might be shifting attention elsewhere (connected car and other machine to machine initiatives, for example), as rumors of job cuts at the business unit are heard.

That doesn't mean mobile service providers will not achieve success at some point, and to some extent. But  AT&T's present efforts to make available data allowing advertisers to target users on mobile, TV and other devices, is not getting traction. 

To be sure, few initiatives of this type--exposing network features to third party business partners--are getting too much traction, though there was much hope five years ago. 

To be sure, we are early in the potential development of this hoped-for trend. But service providers have relatively little to show for the effort, so far. 

On the other hand, app providers might be getting more traction with service providers, as shown either by co-marketing of over the top messaging apps or Virgin Media's cooperation with Netflix. 

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