AT&T is bringing 5G to its WarnerMedia Innovation Lab in New York City, which will make the site one of its first permanent 5G experience sites and a physical location that brings together the company’s entertainment, wireless technology and advertising units to test and develop new offerings.
“By working across AT&T, we’re able to combine the latest in 5G technology with immersive content experiences and cutting-edge advertising capabilities,” said David Christopher, president of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment.
Work is starting this summer on the Innovation Lab, which is expected to open in early 2020 to WarnerMedia partners and cross-business units within AT&T. It will be a newly constructed, 20,000 square-foot facility in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. WarnerMedia said that the location will include an “immersive zone for showcasing consumer-ready experiences visible to the public” as well as indoor and outdoor event spaces, an open work space and dedicated research and development space. AT&T described it as enabling a “real-time virtualized collaboration ecosystem across WarnerMedia and the AT&T offerings.” Architectural design firm Design Republic is the lead designer on the physical space.
AT&T went so far as to tout the new lab as “[unveiling]a new balance in the relationship between advertising, technology and content” and said that its work would include mixed reality and/or virtual reality applications, “5G uses that enhance new advertising capabilities,” and better user experiences related to advertising.
“The Lab is more than a technology incubator, but also a dream factory for us to create the wonderment that fans have come to love and expect from WarnerMedia,” said Jesse Redniss, GM for WarnerMedia Innovation Lab, in a statement. He described the location as a place where WarnerMedia will “flex the best of [its]creative storytelling capabilities combined with cutting edge technology from AT&T and our partners to deliver experiences that will be talked about for a lifetime.”
Dan Riess, head of advanced advertising and branded content at WarnerMedia Ad Sales said that part of the storytelling experience is “how the content is enjoyed, including advertising” and that the WarnerMedia lab “is a critical part of our testing and learning on the new experiences in advertising that we will be rolling out to market.” In terms of advertising, the lab’s resources will also include consumer insights and technology from Xandr, which is AT&T’s advertising and analytics company.
Kirk McDonald, CMO of Xandr, said that by working with AT&T Communications and WarnerMedia, Xandr is “uniquely positioned to develop new advertising innovations that engage consumers and provide integral feedback for marketers and brands. The WarnerMedia Innovation Lab will accelerate the adoption of new advertising formats and provide an environment to showcase our collaborative work.”
“The WarnerMedia Innovation Lab will be a space where developers, creators and visitors will be inspired to push the boundaries of entertainment, all powered by the company that first introduced the U.S. to the power of mobile 5G,” said Christopher of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment.