Vizio Adds Disney, Sony, Warner On-Demand Movies, TV Shows

Vizio April 20 announced it has expanded its slate of free, on-demand entertainment available on WatchFree+ to include TV shows and movies from more than 17 studios.

The ad-supported free streaming service now offers Vizio TV owners more than 5,000 titles, including from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (Need for Speed); Sony Pictures (Death at a Funeral and Guess Who); and Warner Bros. (Gossip, Pay it Forward, Knockaround Guys and “Veronica Mars” (2014)).

“We are excited to broaden our content offering, which now also includes a selection of Warner Bros. titles … for our users to enjoy for free,” Katherine Pond, VP of Business Development at Vizio, said in a statement. “Following the addition of ad-supported on demand content last November, the team has expanded the entertainment options at an accelerated pace to provide consumers with access to a massive free library of content that they can enjoy as a part of owning a Vizio TV.”

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Programming is available across genres including action, romance, comedy, family entertainment, crime and more — giving Vizio users content to watch and enjoy anytime and providing access to new audiences for advertisers and agencies.

Vizio Bows Promos on Apple TV+, Discovery+ and Fubo TV Subs

Vizio has announced exclusive subscription discounts on Apple TV+, Discovery+ and FubuTV.

The Apple TV+ promo is a three-month trial for new subscribers. The offer will be presented on the Vizio home screen through promotional banners with the opportunity to start redemption from the home screen. The offer is available April 25 through May 30.

New Discovery+ subscribers will get access to an exclusive 30-day promotional trial following the purchase and registration of a new Vizio TV. The promo offer will be shared to the new owner’s email address with a link to redeem the trial. The offer is available April 22 through Oct. 22.

New FuboTV subscribers can get 20% off the first month of their subscription until April 15. Vizio smart-TV owners can access the offer through the Vizio home screen.

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“Vizio’s mission is to bring the best possible entertainment experience to the millions of people that use our products every day. Working with our content partners to extend discounts on their subscription services so that Vizio audiences can access premium programming helps us deliver on that mission,” Liz Buhn, senior director of partner marketing at Vizio, said in a statement. 

Vizio’s WatchFree+ to Bow Exclusive Lifestyle Series With Tori Spelling

Vizio is collaborating with MyTime Movie Network to launch the new lifestyle streaming series “@Home with Tori,” starring actress, author,and TV personality Tori Spelling.

Currently in production and scheduled to premiere on Vizio’s free streaming service WatchFree+ in May, the 10-episode Vizio exclusive TV series centers around themes curated by Spelling, best known for her role in the 1990s TV show “Beverly Hills 90210.”

The series will feature everything from family-themed episodes with mothers and daughters to pool parties and cocktail specials. Spelling will showcase tips and tricks for cooking, baking and entertaining as she prepares dishes from locally sourced foods joined by her family, expert chefs, and celebrity guests, including Patti Stranger of “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” “@Home with Tori” celebrates themes ranging from family traditions, travel, birthday and holiday festivities.

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“To say I’m excited to film a series with my friends and family from the comfort of my own home would be an understatement,” Spelling said in a statement. “From cooking to entertaining, we hope to inspire viewers to create memorable experiences from home. We are going to have a lot of fun, and I’m thrilled the Vizio audience will be along for the journey with us.”

“We were excited to work with Tori Spelling and Jacob Nasser to create these episodes that Vizio audiences will love,” Greg Barnard, director of content acquisition at Vizio and executive producer of “@Home with Tori,” said in a statement. “Based on our Inscape data, we know that they enjoy cooking, DIY, and entertainment, and together we developed the episodes that were a natural fit for Tori’s passions and that would resonate with what our viewers want to watch most. This show invites audiences to join Tori and special guests in her home for an exclusive entertainment experience and is another great example of how we continue to deliver programming that is unique, relevant and available only on Vizio.”

“@Home with Tori” is the first original production from MyTime Movie Network, a female-focused network of channels that’s available in 19 countries and six languages.

Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD Streaming App Added to Vizio Service

The Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD streaming service application has been added to the Vizio service, Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, announced.

The streaming service will offer three thousand hours of at launch, including exclusive programming from Chicken Soup for the Soul original series such as “Smart Home Nation.”

“Vizio is pleased to launch the Chicken Soup for the Soul app and offer our audience titles from such a beloved brand,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio, said in a statement. “Bringing the feel-good content that Chicken Soup for the Soul is known for to Vizio audiences is another way that we can deliver on our promise to offer entertainment that viewers know and love.”

“We are excited to bring the Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD service to millions of Vizio viewers,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “We plan to provide a unique blend of entertainment from content and distribution partners who share our vision.”

The Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming service will provide entertainment stories that range from mysteries to miracles, comedy to true crime, the royal family to romcoms in the form of lifestyle programming, original scripted movies, Hollywood blockbusters and classic TV series, according to a Crackle Plus release.

Also now available on Chicken Soup for the Soul is programming from Kin, which has celebrity-driven lifestyle programming. It includes 18 exclusive episodes of “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix,” and 12 episodes of “All Things Adrienne” (Adrienne Houghton) as well as other series with more fresh content arriving in the coming months.

Chicken Soup for the Soul originals and AVOD exclusives available at launch include:

  • “Smart Home Nation” (original), produced by Efran Films in association with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Parkside Entertainment, and hosted by Tanya Memme, explores smart houses on planet Earth. From ‘A’-list mansions with security systems that can recognize your face from down the block to heated backyards that allow you to swim outside while it’s snowing, the series highlights experimental tech havens that would look right at home in “The Jetsons.”
  • Senior Moment (exclusive), a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Giorgio Serafini and starring William Shatner, Jean Smart and Christopher Lloyd. The film follows Victor Martin (Shatner), a retired NASA test pilot, after he loses his license from drag racing his vintage convertible around Palm Springs. Forced to take public transportation, he meets Caroline (Smart) and learns to navigate love and life again.
  • “Vacation Rental Potential” (original) follows designer and real estate expert Holly Baker as she explores beautiful vacation rental properties across the United States, helping clients maximize their earning potential.
  • Off the Rails (exclusive) is Kelly Preston’s final film, with Jenny Seagrove, Sally Philipps, Andrea Corr and Judi Dench about a group of 50-something women on a European vacation who have a change of itinerary when a teenager (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips) joins their plans.
  • Hope Gap (exclusive), starring Annette Benning, Bill Nighy, and Josh O’Connor, follows two parents’ visit with their son that takes a dramatic turn when dad reveals he’s leaving his wife.
  • Thanks for the Memories (exclusive), a romantic comedy two-part limited series with Tamzin Merchant, Tom Wlaschiha, and Bekka Bowling, tells the tale of a woman (Merchant) who, after receiving a blood transfusion, finds she now has memories that aren’t her own.

 

“For years Chicken Soup for the Soul has been the go-to destination for those looking to find comfort, enlightenment, humor and inspiration,” Amy Newmark, author, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul self-help book series, said in a statement. “With our new AVOD streaming service we are thrilled to now have a home for the exciting video content that we have been creating for years. We look forward to producing new series that will help us better serve our audience and change the world one story at a time.”

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The VOD app launch on Vizio follows Chicken Soup for the Soul’s recent FAST channel launches on Vizio’s free streaming service, WatchFree+, as well as Plex, FreeCast, Redbox, LG Channels, Stirr and Xumo.

Crackle Plus streaming services are currently distributed through 60 touch points in the United States, including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices, and on desktops at Crackle.com. Crackle is also available in approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.

Vizio Says ‘WatchFree+’ No. 2 Ad-Supported Streaming App on Platform

Vizio March 15 said its reimagined WatchFree+ ad-supported streaming service is now the second-most-watched ad-supported streaming app on the Irvine, Calif.-based consumer electronics manufacturer’s platform.

Driving this momentum are more than 250 premium channels and 5,000 movies and shows spanning 13 content genres, from news, movies and sports to kids and family, music and reality.

Vizio, which controls 100% of ad inventory for curated channels, is rolling out three new channels: Kick Back — 24/7 action and adventure TV shows and movies. Love Always — non-stop romantic comedies timed with Valentine’s Day, and Cinema Selects — featuring award nominated and winning films to commemorate award season

“Because we focus on content that viewers want, each channel represents an opportunity for advertisers to connect with these audiences in a highly engaged environment and for content partners to generate new revenue opportunities for [advertisers],” Steve DeMain, VP engagement at Vizio, said in a statement.

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Since October 2021, Vizio has introduced 11 curated features channels in the top-trending categories of food and travel, true crime, e-sports and video games, sci-fi, horror, hip hop, action and holidays, among others.

Vizio is now adding pop-up channels to the mix following the success of holiday-themed programming that drove a 300% increase in hours watched during the months of November and December and made CE company’s holiday offering the most-watched channel on WatchFree+.

This past December, Vizio expanded WatchFree+ to include ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) programming, with more than 5,000 titles including popular movies and TV shows from over 17 major and indie studios to deliver something for everyone.

Vizio Smart-TVs Adding Amazon Music App

Vizio March 4 announced the addition of audio streaming service Amazon Music to the lineup of apps available to Vizio smart-TV users in the United States.

The Amazon Music app allows Vizio users to launch the app from the home screen and search and discover songs, albums, playlists and more. Prime members have access to 2 million songs — all ad-free and at no additional cost above their Prime membership. Listeners can also access the premium subscription service Amazon Music Unlimited, which offers more than 75 million songs and the latest new releases. A free ad-supported version is also available, providing users with access to a selection of top playlists and stations on Amazon Music.

“With millions of users across the country, Vizio is an obvious choice for Amazon Music to expand our service into the homes of music fans,” Karolina Joynathsing, director of business development for Amazon Music, said in a statement. “We look forward to our customers being able to easily listen to their favorite music on Vizio smart-TVs starting today.” 

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“At Vizio, we believe the TV is the centerpiece of the home entertainment experience, which is why we’ve made it a priority to add content and services that our users love,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development at Vizio, said in a statement. “The addition of music services like Amazon Music, together with our award-winning Sound Bars, allows us to offer users a new way to search, discover and experience high-quality music, podcasts and more from their Vizio smart-TV.”

The Amazon Music app joins a roster of music-related apps on Vizio, such as Pandora, Vevo and Tidal, as well as channels available on Vizio’s free streaming service WatchFree+.

Vizio Partners With TransUnion to Better Reach Connected-TV Homes

Vizio has partnered with credit service TransUnion’s TruAudience Data Marketplace to enhance advertiser appeal for its ad-supported streaming Household Connect platform across 19 million internet-connected branded TVs.

“This allows advertisers to leverage our proprietary data along with data from the TransUnion and execute full-funnel marketing campaigns for the Vizio audience,” Oz Lang, VP of product management at Vizio, said in a statement. “After being presented an ad on TV, viewers will see a complementary ad or call-to-action on their computer, tablet, or mobile device shortly thereafter, all powered by the same data.”

Vizio claims that a major cable network leveraged Household Connect to drive a 64% increase in viewership for its flagship season premiere, including significant lifts in both awareness and ad recall rates of 80% and 90%, respectively.

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“By leveraging the TruAudience, Vizio combines their audience viewing data with other first and third-party data across tens of millions of connected homes,” added Matt Spiegel, EVP of media and entertainment at TransUnion. “This partnership provides brands and marketers enhanced advertising and efficacy.”

Vizio SmartCast Adds A+E Subscription Streaming Apps

Vizio SmartCast viewers now have access to A+E Networks commercial-free subscription streaming apps History Vault, A&E Crime Central and Lifetime Movie Club.

History Vault and A&E Crime Central are each available for $4.99 per month and Lifetime Movie Club is available for $3.99 per month, all found in the app row on the SmartCast Home Screen.

History Vault  features more than 3,500 hours of content offering the breadth and depth of The History Channel’s extensive catalogue, complete with series, specials and documentaries, including some content only available on History Vault. Programs include library documentaries (military history, biographical) and docuseries such as “America’s Greatest Feud: The History of the Hatfields and the McCoys,” as well as past seasons of series such as “American Restoration” and “Ice Road Truckers.”

A&E Crime Central features more than 1,300 hours of content, including exclusives, spanning crime-genre content from A&E, The History Channel, Lifetime and LMN, including titles such as “The First 48: Missing Persons,” “Beyond Scared Straight” and “Cold Case Files.”

Lifetime Movie Club (LMC) has more thanr 300 movies from the Lifetime movie library, including Flowers in the Attic, Death of a Cheerleader and Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret.

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“Vizio’s commitment to offer viewers a wide breadth of compelling content and experiences makes expanding A+E on SmartCast a natural fit,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio, said in a statement. “With A+E’s entertainment portfolio that tells amazing stories and spans multiple genres, we’re thrilled to be launching these additional A+E apps that are sure to keep the whole family entertained.”

The A+E subscription apps join ad-supported streaming channels available from A+E across Vizio’s WatchFree+ streaming service, including three channels debuting on the SmartCast platform, single series channels “Ax Men,” “Ice Road Truckers” and “Modern Marvels.”

Additional A+E channels on WatchFree+ include Crime 360, Lively Place,
Skills + Thrills, Movie Favorites by Lifetime, Defy TV, TrueReal and Tiny House Nation.

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“This integration with Vizio SmartCast TVs extends the reach of these popular streaming apps and greatly adds to our connected TV footprint, making it easier than ever for our engaged audiences to access their favorite content when, where, and how they want,” Mark Garner, EVP of global content sales and business development or A+E Networks, said in a statement. “We value our relationship with Vizio and look forward to building new ways for viewers to tune into their favorite library content across our brands.”

Sling TV Added on Vizio Smartcast TVs

The Sling TV app is now available on Vizio SmartCast TVs.

The cable alternative comes with a three-day free trial on SmartCast. 

Sling features live content with free channels such as ABC News Live and premium cable networks such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ESPN, ESPN2 and TNT, plus more than 150,000 on-demand shows and movies.

“Delivering on our commitment to provide endless entertainment options and enhanced consumer experiences, we are delighted to provide SmartCast users with access to premium channels like ESPN and Showtime as well as live sports, news and entertainment through the SLING TV streaming app,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development at Vizio, said in a statement.

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“With home screen access on Vizio SmartCast, we are able to deliver our premier service to millions of users across America,” Seth Van Sickel, SVP of product and operations at Sling TV, said in a statement. “Sling continues to be the most convenient way to watch the shows you love when you want, where you want, and on your terms across a wide breadth of device options.”

Sling TV joins streaming services such as Apple TV+, Discovery+, Disney+, HBOMax, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock and Prime Video already available on Vizio SmartCast. Vizio 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.

Vewd Software Gets $10 Million Lifeline After Bankruptcy Filing

Vewd Software, a Norwegian-based over-the-top video tech provider to myriad companies, including Redbox, Cinedigm and Vizio, has received a $10 million lifeline from its lenders two days after a Dec. 15 voluntary bankruptcy filing.

Under the prepackaged plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, Vewd will swap $118 million in debt as equity to its lenders. The company cited the pandemic and a shareholder dispute for its fiscal troubles.

“As we embark on our next phase of growth in a highly dynamic, fast-paced industry, it has become imperative that we boost our ability to invest into the accelerated roll-out of our new products and solutions,” Vewd CEO Aneesh Rajaram said in a statement.

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Launched in 2002, the Oslo-based company claims to embed its streaming technology on 40 million connected TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles and cars each year.

“We look forward to emerging from this process with a healthy balance sheet, empowering Vewd to continue its growth trajectory within the evolving OTT industry,” Rajaram said. “Future owners have demonstrated a clear commitment to our company’s long-term success and our mission to enable entertainment everywhere.”