AVOD Service Documentary+ Available on Vizio SmartCast TVs

The documentary streaming platform Documentary+ is now available on Vizio SmartCast TVs.

Audiences can find curated content from Documentary+’s collection of nonfiction films and series on Vizio WatchFree+, the free streaming service available on Vizio SmartCast TVs. SmartCast audiences can now access Documentary+’s programming via the updated WatchFree+ program guide, with no additional devices, subscriptions, logins or fees.

The Documentary+ channel hosts nonfiction titles spanning across genres from true crime to exposés to music docs. The average Documentary+ user has watched 80 minutes of content since it launched as an AVOD streaming service in January 2021.

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Documentary+ houses a collection of feature documentaries, cult classics and shorts and features award-winning and nominated filmmakers including Spike Jonze, Kathryn Bigelow, Penny Lane, Elaine May, Jessica Beshir, Terrence Malick, Werner Herzog and Sam Pollard. Included in the existing library is the docuseries with Anthony Bourdain and VICE “A Cook’s Tour,” which follows Bourdain on his travels across the world to explore local culinary cuisines from Tokyo to Portugal to the Napa Valley over 35 episodes.

“We are bullish on the idea that FAST is the next step in the evolution of TV as we build Documentary+ to become the leading premium doc channel,” Bryn Mooser, Documentary+ founder, said in a statement. “Launching on Vizio’s SmartCast is bringing the Documentary+ channel to millions more households.”

“With access to feature-length and short documentary films from the Documentary+ channel on WatchFree+, we are able to serve up a premium content and viewing experience at no cost to the SmartCast audience,” Greg Barnard, director of content acquisition for Vizio, said in a statement. “Adding these high quality, non-fiction films to the ever-expanding library of content options means there is something for everyone with SmartCast.”

In addition to Vizio, Documentary+ is available on smart-TV channels including Xumo, LG Channel Plus and LG Channels as well as on-demand streaming apps including Apple TV, Amazon and Roku, mobile devices, and www.docplus.com.

FuboTV Joins Vizio SmartCast Platform

Vizio Sept. 9 announced that online live sports TV streaming platform FuboTV is now available on its ad-supported SmartCast platform. With a subscription to FuboTV, SmartCast users have access to more than 100 streaming channels.

“About 94% of FuboTV subscribers watch sports, news and entertainment on the big screen,” Len Landi, SVP of business development for FuboTV said in a statement. “It’s a perfect marriage as we gear up for the fall sports season.”

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The FuboTV app on SmartCast TVs offers up to six users within a subscription to have their own set of recordings (which never expire), personalized recommendations, and a program guide that is unique to their content preferences.

Users also have a customized program guide, in addition to the ability to record entire seasons of a show, and record all content related to a favorite team, among other options.

“Sports continue to be one of the most popular categories of programming on television, so FuboTV’s offering with an impressive array of live sports programming as well as hundreds of other entertainment options is a welcome addition to the SmartCast lineup,” said Katherine Pond, VP of business development at Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio.

In addition to the FuboTV streaming app, Vizio offers access to apps, including Apple TV+, BET+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video and YouTube TV. It also includes built-in support for Apple AirPlay 2 & Chromecast, allowing viewers to stream, control, and share content from their phone, tablet or laptop directly to the big screen.

Electric Entertainment Officially Launches OTT Service ElectricNow With Availability on Vizio Smart TVs

Electric Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production, distribution and post-production company, has announced the hard launch of its OTT app and channel ElectricNow, concurrently with the app’s availability on all Vizio SmartCast televisions.

SmartCast  users have around-the-clock access to Electric Entertainment’s produced content such as TV series “Leverage,” “The Librarians” and “The Outpost,” as well as acquired programming such as the feature films Blood on the Crown, starring Harvey Keitel and Malcolm McDowell, and Heavy, starring Sophie Turner and Daniel Zovatto.

“We soft-launched ElectricNow in spring of 2020,” said Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, in a statement. “The consumer feedback and corresponding viewership has been well beyond our expectations.  We originally set out to create a hub where we could aggregate all of our various fan bases from ‘Leverage,’ ‘The Librarians,’ ‘The Outpost,’ ‘Almost Paradise’ and all of our podcast subscribers into a single space. Now with the app being available to this incredibly large consumer base via Vizio SmartCast, we are reaching a much broader more mainstream audience, picking up new fans along the way.”

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“With the addition of ElectricNow to SmartCast, we are continuing Vizio’s mission to provide our audiences with endless entertainment,” Chris Tanquary, director of business development and partnerships for Vizio, said in a statement. “ElectricNow’s hard launch is a great step in that effort, and gives SmartCast users access to their exciting original and acquired content.”

Electric Entertainment recently announced marathons on ElectricNow for its original programs “Leverage” and “The Outpost,” timed to coincide with the streaming and/or broadcasting of these program’s new episodes and seasons.

Devlin has seen ElectricNow as not only a one-stop-shop destination for fans of Electric’s programming, but also as a marketing tool to lead viewers to their streaming and broadcast partners, according to a company press release.

“Our fans and broadcast/streaming partners have been equally important to us,” he said in a statement. “Bringing them together has been a major initiative for us.”

BET+ Streaming App is Coming to Vizio SmartCast

Vizio Aug. 3 announced that viewers of its SmartCast streaming video platform will soon have on-demand access to ViacomCBS’s BET+ streaming service. BET+ offers movies, TV shows, comedy and stage plays from black creators.

Content includes: “First Wives Club,” “Tyler Perry’s Ruthless,” “The Family Business” and “American Gangster: Trap Queens” from creators Tracy Oliver, Tyler Perry and Carl Weber, in addition to catalog series “Martin,” “House of Payne” and “Being Mary Jane.”

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“This addition to our line-up of premium apps aligns perfectly with our dedication to deliver content for every audience that can be enjoyed instantly on the big screen,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development, said in a statement.

SmartCast users can find BET+ in the app row on the home screen starting Aug. 4. Users can access the streaming service for a free, seven-day trial before purchasing a premium, commercial-free subscription for $9.99 per month.

BET+ joining a list of SmartCast streaming services that includes Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock and Amazon Prime Video. SmartCast also includes support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in, allowing viewers to stream, control, and share content from their phone, tablet, or laptop directly onto the big screen.

Vizio Adds Funimation Anime App to SmartCast TVs

Vizio July 7 announced that the Funimation app will soon be available on its connected SmartCast platform. The app features access to more than 13,000 hours of anime episodes, movies, extras and top trending shows from Japan, including My Hero AcademiaDemon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Fruits Basket, Black Clover and Attack on Titan, all on-demand, either subtitled and/or dubbed.

The $5.99/$7.99 (premium) monthly streaming service also includes fan-favorites and anime classics like Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and One Piece. Funimation just released its summer slate with more than 20 new and returning series as well as the global hit, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, which arrived on the service last month after being in theaters this spring.

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“Our partnership with Vizio now completes Funimation’s availability on all major distribution platforms and truly lets us be where every fan is,” Kaliel Roberts, chief product officer at Funimation Global Group, said in a statement. “Whether or not it’s text-to-speech navigation, search capabilities or curated recommendations, the custom-built Funimation user experience for anime fans on Vizio will be amazing.”

By pairing a Vizio SmartCast TV with one of Irvine, Calif.-based company’s sound bars, Funimation streamers will not only see every HD detail, but can experience a fully immersive sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X floor-to-ceiling sound.

In addition to the Funimation streaming app, Vizio provides direct access to on-screen apps from Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video and YouTube TV. It also includes support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in, allowing viewers to stream, control, and share content from their phone, tablet, or laptop directly onto the big screen.

Estrella Media Streaming Ad-Supported Spanish-Language Content on Vizio TVs

Estrella Media, the Spanish-language media company, April 19 announced that its EstrellaTV and Estrella News streaming networks are now available on Internet-connected Vizio televisions.

Launched in 2009, EstrellaTV has grown to 15-owned or operated stations and more than 30 broadcast affiliates with a catalog of more than 20,000 hours of programming. The network also has national carriage agreements with major cable and satellite operators.

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EstrellaTV offers a unique aggregation of Spanish-language programming, including national and local news shows, sports, entertainment, talk, reality, drama, and comedy, primarily produced in its Estrella Studios in Burbank, Calif.

Vizio users will also have access to Estrella News, the first dedicated group of local and national news professionals providing live news to Spanish-language audiences on a multiplatform basis. This objective is to bring live and breaking news, special assignments, and special reports, all produced in a shorter, more relatable news cycle that fits current consumer trends within the digital and streaming environments.

SmartCast is Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio’s operating system equipped on every new smart TV. The operating system provides users with home access to apps from Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Peacock, among others. Vizio also has the ability to automatically push SmartCast updates to branded TVs.

“It is a golden period in home entertainment as evidenced by [the] tremendous growth and success in streaming and ad-supported VOD,” René Santaella, EVP of digital and streaming media for Estrella Media, said in a statement.

“The addition of EstrellaTV Network and Estrella News supports [our] commitment to providing robust and diverse content options to our millions of viewers,” added Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio. “This is another excellent addition to our growing Spanish language content offerings and Spanish speaking audiences across the country.”

Vevo Brings Music Videos to Vizio Connected Televisions

Music video streaming platform Vevo Dec. 8 announced that its catalog of more than 450,000 music videos and original content is now available for free (with ads) on Vizio SmartCast Televisions. 

The partnership is part of Vevo’s expansion into the connected television space, as consumers increasingly choose to stream music videos in the home. An internal analysis of Vevo’s viewership metrics revealed a 27% year-over-year growth (Jan.-Nov. 2020 vs. Jan.-Nov. 2019) of music video consumption globally across connected TV devices.

Kevin McGurn, president of sales and distribution at Vevo, said the Vizio deal affords advertisers a guaranteed audience composition, brand safety for their media delivery.

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“Our research shows that consumers want to watch music videos in their living rooms and that they are watching alongside their friends and family,” McGurn said. “Together with Vizio, which has its own impressive scale and reach, Vevo’s content is now available to even more connected television audiences.”

Indeed, Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio was the second-largest shipper of TVs in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2019, with a 16.5% market share, according to data from IHS Markit.

Vizio joins a portfolio of existing Vevo partners, which include YouTube, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Roku, PlutoTV, Apple TV, NetRange, Virgin Media, Sky, Vewd, Xumo and Samsung TV Plus, among others. 

“By building personalized experiences and enhancing our platform with endless entertainment options for consumers, we are also able to serve up new direct-to-device advertising opportunities for brands and agencies,” said Katherine Pond, VP of business development at Vizio. 

 

Vizio Unveils Holiday Hub

Vizio has unveiled “Unwrap the Magic of SmartCast,” its holiday hub featuring a collection of special programming for the holiday season.

With more than 200 hours of holiday-themed movies, TV episodes, music and more from app partners, the hub features free and premium holiday streaming options, including 12 days of special offers and discounts on video-on-demand movies throughout December.

Vizio has teamed up with ROW8 and Redbox to present 12 days of SmartCast movie deals with specially priced, video-on-demand holiday titles such as Elf, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Arthur Christmas, as well as new releases such as Fatman, The Stand-in and Greenland.

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“We are pleased to offer Vizio SmartCast consumers the ultimate holiday destination with hundreds of hours of holiday movies and programming to celebrate the season,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio, said in a statement. “With our abundant holiday content offering free channels, premium apps, and discounted holiday titles, together with our seasonal discounts on our award-winning TVs and sound bars, Vizio continues to deliver a best-in-class entertainment experience for people of all ages.”

The holiday hub can be found on the SmartCast home screen and includes a combination of premium content and free channel options. SmartCast provides audiences with home screen access to subscription apps such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV, Hulu, Prime Video and Peacock as well as streaming across 130-plus free channels. SmartCast supports streaming from devices with Apple AirPlay and Chromecast Built-in, and smart home connectivity with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa-enabled devices.

Vizio SmartCast Adds Facebook Watch TV App

Vizio SmartCast users in the United States and Canada can now access the Facebook Watch TV app.

“Bringing Facebook Watch to SmartCast furthers our mission to provide Vizio customers with direct-to-device access to all of their favorite apps and channels in one place,” Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue officer of Vizio, said in a statement. “The Facebook Watch TV app helps connect audiences with content that matches their interests, all from the Vizio SmartCast home screen.”

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Vizio SmartCast TV users can select the Facebook Watch app icon from the SmartCast home screen and follow a prompt for a one-time Facebook login. Content on the app includes:

  • Facebook Originals such as “Red Table Talk,” covering social issues with Jada Pinkett Smith; the recently launched “Red Table Talk: The Estefans,” with Gloria Estefan; the daytime Emmy-winning show “Returning the Favor,” with Mike Rowe who spotlights everyday heroes; and Steve Harvey’s talk show, “Steve on Watch,” with celebrity interviews and news;
  • Live gaming streams and previously recorded videos from Facebook Gaming creators as well as livestreamed tournaments; and
  • Music videos from top artists to up-and-coming bands and classics across various genres.

Apple TV App on Vizio Smartcast TVs in U.S. and Canada

Vizio customers in the United States and Canada now have access to the Apple TV app on SmartCast TVs.

For a limited time, eligible Vizio SmartCast customers in the United States can sign up for Apple TV+ and receive three months free.

“With the Apple TV app coming to Vizio SmartCast TVs, customers can enjoy an even broader range of exciting entertainment, including the popular and award-winning Apple TV+ service,” Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue officer of Vizio, said in a statement. “Knowing the important role the TV has in the home, Vizio continues to expand the entertainment available for consumers to discover.”

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Vizio SmartCast TV users can select the Apple TV app icon from the SmartCast Home screen and sign in with their Apple ID to subscribe to Apple TV+.

Customers can also subscribe to Apple TV channels, such as Showtime, CBS All Access and Starz, and watch online and offline, ad-free and on demand, directly on the Apple TV app. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels using their personal Apple ID and password.

Additionally, Vizio SmartCast TV users can browse the Apple TV app to buy or rent more than 100,000 movies and TV shows, including titles available in 4K HDR and with Dolby Atmos, as well as access their library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple.

Vizio customers can also enjoy Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on SmartCast TVs. With AirPlay 2, Vizio customers can stream, control, and share their favorite content directly from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to their Vizio SmartCast TV. HomeKit allows customers to easily and securely control their SmartCast TV using the Home app or by asking Siri on their Apple devices.