AT&T has a new idea to help lower the prices of its data plans: advertising. No, not selling advertising on billboards or in TV commercials, but instead by incorporating ads into your wireless phone service as a way to help lower your monthly bill by $5 or $10. Would you be cool with that?

You may not have to find out if you’d be cool with that for a year or two. AT&T is only now looking into the idea, with a first test coming with an ad-supported HBO Max. Should that version of their new HBO Max service see success, that could mean a similar option for data plans.

How would an ad-subsidized data plan work? We don’t really know. We could see ads showing on your lock screen from time to time, in your settings areas, as a pop-up on your home screen, etc. It could mean something else that AT&T has yet to disclose. My guess is that it could be a move similar to what Amazon was doing for a while with those Prime Exclusive phones, where ads would show up on lock screens and a bunch of pre-loaded apps were there. Of course, Amazon has since abandoned that initiative and no longer sells those ad-supported phones.

The fine details for this all aren’t there and AT&T hasn’t said that they are going to force anyone into these. Instead, they simply believe there is a set of customers who would gladly receive a discount on their bills if all they had to do was look at a few ads here and there.

Any chance you would buy into that?

// Reuters



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