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Consumer behavior will change from coronavirus



The Coronavirus pandemic will change consumer behavior across the business landscape, AT&T President and COO John Stankey said Wednesday.

“Not just AT&T, every company will see consumer behavior changes emerge from this event,” Stankey told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. “I do not expect that we will return to ‘normal’.”

“We will return to a different economic environment. We will return to different business models,” Stankey added of “Power Lunch.”

Stankey’s comments came shortly after AT&T announced that Hulu founder Jason Kilar would take over as CEO of WarnerMedia on May 1

. Kilar will report to Stankey, who served as CEO of WarnerMedia.

Stankey said he believes AT&T, with its various business units, is well-positioned to navigate a post-pandemic world.

“Of course, connections are no less important to go through this dynamic,” he said. “If anything, that networking world and the versatility of it has shown how powerful and powerful an engine it can be to maintain a certain level of normality.”

The entertainment side of AT & T’s business also continues to show its relevance when tens of millions of Americans stay home, Stankey argued.

“We clearly see that people reason with an opportunity to spend their time looking for good stories and emotional attention and distraction in very difficult circumstances,” he said.

And with AT & T’s streaming service, HBO Max, which will be launched next month, “I can’t imagine any better place for us to be than having the opportunity to bring out a new library and new content to the end user,” said Stankey.

But AT&T will need to adapt some of its business models to the new landscape according to COVID-19, which so many other companies will do, Stankey said.

“Will there be so much retail space back in the service and linked to retail space, theater screens? Probably not,” he said.

“And does that mean we will look for stories and maybe deliver them in different ways to complement what we already do so well on the big screen and the cinema? I would expect that to be the case, especially if that’s what the consumer expresses is their preference and desire, “Stankey said.


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