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AT&T Selling New ‘Pause Ad’ That Only Plays When Customers Pause Their Programs

Stephanie Sengwe

It seems AT&T’s Xandr ad-tech unit has come up with a solution to get play ads, without aggravating watchers. According to Variety, the company is selling what they are calling a “pause ad” — a commercial that only plays for consumers when they pause their shows. The pause ad — with full sound and motion — would start playing 30 seconds after a customer of the company’s video services calls for a pause.

“That’s a non-interruptive ad. It’s very high value. It’s very brand safe. It’s 100% viewable, and our sales team is in the market now with that product and it’s gotten great reception,” stated Brian Lesser, Xandr’s CEO, in an interview.

In the past, Hulu has experimented with “pause ads,” posting static, translucent images over the inactive screens for advertisers like Coca-Cola or Procter & Gamble. However, Hulu’s “pause ads” appeared only to those subscribed to the ad-supported version of the streaming service. The new Xandr version, on the other hand, places “pause ads” onto traditional linear viewing of broadcast and cable networks.

With streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Apple TV+ leveraging the fact that they’re ad-free, AT&T’s new concept couldn’t be more timely.