Vizio Posts $13.8 Million in Q3 Net Income, Grows Platform Revenue 22%

Vizio posted net income of $13.8 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to net income of $2 million in the prior-year quarter, and net revenue of $426.2 million, compared to $435 million in Q3 2022.

Gross profit grew 20% to $96.5 million.

The Platform+ segment tallied net revenue of $156.2 million, up 22% from Q3 2022, and gross profit of $99.8 million, up 26% from the prior-year quarter.

SmartCast average revenue per user (ARPU) was $31.55 in the quarter, up 14% from the prior-year quarter. The company tallied 17.9 million SmartCast active accounts, which streamed 5.2 billion hours, and grew average SmartCast hours per SmartCast active account to 97 per month, up 12% year-over-year.

The company reported it expanded direct ad relationships by 20% compared to Q3 2022, adding 66 net new advertisers in the third quarter of 2023. 

New WatchFree+ channels added during the quarter included Golf Nation, Celebrating Hispanic Heritage, Cheaters and getTV, bringing the total number of FAST channels to 290. Vizio also launched nine new apps including ESPN, Pet Collective, Black Voices+ and Local BTV, bringing the total number of built-in apps to almost 200.

On the consumer electronics side, Vizio rolled out new 65-inch ($499) and 75-inch ($699) quantum 4K QLED Smart TVs online and at major retailers including Walmart and Sam’s Club. Smart TV shipments to retailers and consumers fell 8% in the quarter to 1.1 million from 1.2 million in the third quarter of 2022.

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“At Vizio, we continue to invest in delivering the best possible experience for our users and partners alike. Over the past few years, we have been continuously retooling and enhancing our operating system to unlock further growth opportunities,” William Wang, CEO of Vizio, said in a statement. “While these efforts not only successfully drove record ARPU in Q3, but they are also opening up additional strategic options as well. Today, we are excited to announce that we are beginning to explore partnerships with other TV OEMs looking for alternatives within the CTV market. Our deep expertise with integrated hardware and software provides a distinct potential for mutually beneficial outcomes for Vizio and future partners.”

Indeed, executives on the financial call touted the importance of the platform business in addition to the consumer electronics segment.

“You cannot think about our device business separate from our platform,” said CFO Adam Townsend, adding that “highly engaged units tend to be with us six-plus years.”

Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue/strategic growth officer, touted the quarter’s home-screen redesign as a “key driver” in improved results. He said consumers are using it more for search and discovery. 

“It’s great for Watchfree+ because we invest a lot of home screen real estate into driving consumers to our owned and operated app,” he said.

He also touted original content deals, such as the recent branded entertainment series “Merry & Bright,” presented by The Home Depot, produced by Vizio and hosted by Grammy-nominated “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks. The deal gives sponsor Home Depot, which offsets content spend, prime positioning on the home screen, he noted.

CraftsyTV FAST Channel Launches on Vizio Smart TVs

The CraftsyTV FAST channel is now streaming on Vizio Smart TVs, announced TN Marketing, the Minnesota-based media company specializing in how-to content and parent company of CraftsyTV. 

Vizio WatchFree+ users have 24/7 access to the channel’s curated programming, featuring expert instruction and DIY videos in a wide range of categories such as knitting, crochet, painting, baking, quilting, sewing and more. 

This launch coincides with CraftsyTV’s Fall Fest event, featuring craft-related programming for the holiday gift-making season. Content offers tips on how to create unique handmade gifts.

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“This expansion with Vizio is an exciting opportunity for CraftsyTV,” Jim Kopp, COO of TN Marketing, said in a statement. “It provides us with the perfect platform to continue to reach and grow our audience and share our content with those passionate about learning and creating. We look forward to connecting millions of viewers with amazing how-to content that will inspire their creativity.”

Golf Nation Available on Vizio Smart TVs Via WatchFree+ and On Demand

Vizio has added NBTV Channels’ Golf Nation golf-lifestyle programming to its free ad-supported television (FAST) and on demand lineup.

Vizio smart TV owners are able to stream Golf Nation programming at no cost on WatchFree+ channel 612 and on demand. Golf Nation content was initially previewed in December 2022 on GolfNation.com as a VOD provider of commercial-free, golf-lifestyle shows.

The inaugural season of original shows, ranging from five to 30 minutes, includes:

  • “Ambush with David Feherty,” featuring hidden camera hijinks with the golfing comedic figure;
  • “Three Courses,” which travels to play, eat and drink with influencers Gabi Powel and Hannah Leiner;
  • “Golf Unseen,” which goes to exotic golf locations with cultural experiences, hosted by Carolina Romero and Mike Mason (nine-time X Games medalist);
  • “Tee Shots,” with drinks, chat and golf swings hosted by mixologist Bill Binder;
  • “Versus,” in which rotating golf celebrities and influencers compete head-to-head.

 

“We are excited to premiere Golf Nation’s line-up of curated content on Vizio Smart TVs,” Greg Barnard, director of content acquisition at Vizio, said in a statement. “And thanks to a major brand sponsor of the channel, Golf Nation will be featured on the Vizio Home Screen at launch, helping Vizio users discover live and on demand content at the beginning of their TV viewing experience.”

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“Thanks in large part to Vizio, Golf Nation will boast one of the largest golf-oriented audiences in the U.S.,” Nick Buzzell, chairman and CEO of Golf Nation, said in a statement. “The significant distribution lift excites our brand partners who authentically sell products featured in our shows.”

All Golf Nation shows can be watched and live in perpetuity on www.golfnation.com, its Android app and on Spirits Network, parent-company NBTV’s first entertainment vertical. In upcoming months, they will be available on Golf Nation iOS app, Apple TV and additional streaming services.

Vizio Ups Fall WatchFree+ Streaming Content Slate

Vizio Oct. 12 announced it has added more than 70 new titles to its ad-supported WatchFree+ streaming platform.

New documentaries include Ben & Jen: Never Say Never; Tim McGraw & Faith Hill: Country Lovin; and just released this year, Weird Al: Never Off Beat. new catalog movies include Ben Is Back with Julia Roberts and St. Vincent with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy.

Fall Premieres content also features Vizio’s curated channels, so viewers can binge genre favorites, including true crime movie such as “Mind Investigators” and “Fred & Rose West: The House of Horrors” on Investigation (channel 350); food and travel shows like “Hotel Hell,” starring Gordon Ramsay, and Exotic Islands on “Fork & Flight” (channel 500); movies like animated ParaNorman and the U.S. premiere of Nicholas Jarecki’s CRISIS on the Free Movie Network (channel 199); and exclusive supernatural premieres like “Alien Disclosure Files” and “History’s Most Haunted” series on Sci-Fi+ (channel 203).

Vizio Offering Football Kickoff Collection on Home Screen

Vizio is offering a custom-curated Football Kickoff collection on TV home screens for the 2023 pro and college season.

The collection features home screen access to streaming apps for viewing live sports, with hundreds of hours of free programming.

Content such as movies, documentaries and interviews is available on Vizio’s free streaming service WatchFree+ via channels such as Pac 12, Sports Grid and more. Custom curated carousels include “Tailgate Ready,” featuring game-themed cooking shows, music videos, interviews, documentaries and football biopics.

For a limited time, the Vizio 65-inch Class V-Series 4K UHD LED Smart TV is available at Walmart for $398 and pairs with the Vizio V-Series All-in-One 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with DTS Virtual, also available at Walmart at $99, according to Vizio.

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Vizio Ups Q2 Streaming Users, Revenue as Consumer Electronics Sales Decline

Vizio Holding Corp. Aug. 8 reported 17.6 million SmartCast Active Accounts, which streamed 5 billion hours of content in the second quarter (ended June 30), up 16% from 4.3 billion hours in the previous-year period. Vizio ended the previous-year quarter with 16.1 million active accounts.

The Irvine, Calif.-based consumer electronics company determines SmartCast Active Accounts as the number of Vizio Smart TVs where a user has activated the SmartCast operating system (dubbed Platform+) through an internet connection at least once in the past 30 days. Total Vizio viewing hours, which includes the branded WatchFree+ platform, increased 9% to 8.9 billion from 8.2 billion.

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Vizio, like other consumer electronics manufacturers, is pushing a proprietary operating system offering ad-supported licensed and original content and third-party app access. In the quarter, the platform debuted “Clean Break,” a new series hosted by professional organizer Michelle Hobgood from Vizio’s branded content studio.

In the quarter, Vizio launched Peacock Preview on its WatchFree+ channel offering consumers access to premium content and a seamless way to engage with the Peacock streaming app (with a separate subscription).

Added WatchFree+ channels included a new local channel category collection, “Project Runway” and “Family Feud Classic” bringing the total number of FAST channels to more than 290. The platform also launched third-party apps for the Weather Channel, QVC/HSN, Wild Earth, and Power Nation, bringing the total number of built-in apps to more than 170.

As a result, Platform+ revenue increased 28% to $142.3 million from $110.8 million in the prior-year period. The platform posted an operating profit of $85.8 million, up from from $69.9 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile legacy consumer electronics hardware sales continue to be challenged. Smart-TV unit shipments dropped 11% to 1 million from 1.1 million a year ago. Overall device revenue (which includes sound bars) saw revenue drop more than 15% to $252.1 million, from $298.1 million in the prior-year period. Operating income plummeted to $300,000, from $4 million in the prior-year period.

Overall revenue dipped less than 4% to $394.4 million, from $408.9 million. Net income dropped 17% to $1.9 million from $2.3 million a year ago.

CEO William Wang said the fiscal results underscore the company’s strategy of integrating hardware and software business models.

“Unlike the challenges many are facing in the advertising marketplace, our business is firing on all cylinders, and our team delivered 35% growth in ad revenue during the quarter,” Wang said in a statement. “In addition, our key measure of platform monetization, average revenue per user (ARPU), surpassed $30.”

Vizio Adds Local Channel Category, 20 Channels in WatchFree+ Service

Vizio has announced a new local channel category available in its free streaming service WatchFree+, featuring regional news, weather, sports and more.  

With 20 local market news channels from Fox and Gray Television, Vizio smart-TV owners can tune into local news coverage across top designated market areas (DMAs), including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. 

The new WatchFree+ channels include:

Fox channels:

  1. WAGA (Fox 5 – Atlanta) – Ch. 945 

  2. WTTG (Fox 5 – Washington DC) – Ch. 946 

  3. WJBK (Fox 2 – Detroit) – Ch. 947

  4. KDFW (Fox 4 – Dallas) – Ch. 948

  5. WTVT (Fox 13 – Tampa Bay) – Ch. 949

  6. KTVU (Fox 2 – San Francisco) – Ch. 950

  7. WTXF (Fox 29 – Philadelphia) – Ch. 951

  8. WOFL (Fox 35 Orlando) – Ch. 952

  9. KCPQ (Fox 13 Seattle) – Ch. 953

  10. KTTV (Fox 11 – Los Angeles) – Ch. 955

 

Gray Television channels:

  1. WANF Atlanta News First (Independent – Atlanta) – Ch. 961

  2. KTVK/KPHO Arizona’s Family (CBS 5 – Phoenix) – Ch. 962

  3. WOIO Cleveland 19 News (CBS 19 – Cleveland/Akron) – Ch. 963

  4. WBTV News (CBS 3 – Charlotte) – Ch. 964

  5. KPTV (FOX 12 – Portland) – Ch. 965

  6. KMOV4 News (CBS 4 – St. Louis) – Ch. 966

  7. WSMV4 News (CBS 4 – Nashville) – Ch. 967

  8. KCTV5 News (CBS 5 – Kansas City) – Ch. 968

  9. WFSB Eyewitness News 3 (CBS 3 – Hartford/New Haven) – Ch. 969

  10. WXIX-TV (FOX19 Now – Cincinnati) – Ch. 970

 
This expansion adds to the three current local news channels on WatchFree+ (CBS News Los Angeles — Ch. 160, CBS News New York — Ch. 161, and News 12 New York — Ch. 162).  

Vizio Unveils WatchFree+ Spring Content Showcase

Vizio’s ad-supported streaming service WatchFree+ has unveiled a spring content showcase that includes “Drag Race Down Under,” “Project Runway, “Family Feud” and “Kevin Hart’s Cold as Balls,” among others. Documentaries include Samuel L Jackson: Did I Stutter? and Prince Harry: Being the Spare, among others.

The platform also features Vizio House, a curated channel dedicated to DIY and home improvement, featuring more than 200 hours of programming from the unscripted original series and specials of home renovator Mike Holmes. Content includes seasons of “Holmes & Homes,” “Holmes Makes it Right,” “Holmes In New Orleans” and “Holmes on Homes.”

“We are excited to bring audiences another slate of fresh and exclusive programming,” Katherine Pond, group VP of platform content and partnerships at Vizio, said in a statement. “Thanks to our deep network of content partners and our data-driven approach to programming, this curated collection delivers something for everyone and is sure to be a hit with fans of all ages.”

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Vizio Updates Watchfree+ User Streaming Experience

Vizio Nov. 11 announced an upgraded design and user experience for WatchFree+, the Irvine, Calif.-based consumer electronics manufacturer’s ad-supported free streaming service featured in Vizio Smart TVs. The update brings a new look and feel, intuitive electronic program guide (EPG), faster and easier navigation, and personalization features to the free streaming service. WatchFree+ has grown to include more than 260 free channels and 6,000 titles on demand, offering an ever-expanding library of movies, TV shows, news, sports, music and programs.

The WatchFree+ Guide now displays upcoming content segmented in 30-minute intervals, allowing viewers to explore the collection of streaming content in a familiar format. In addition, the interface allows advertisers to promote contextually relevant content seamlessly within the program guide.

Additional updates include a schedule of all WatchFree+ programs in a simple grid format, segmented in half-hour intervals. View movie and show descriptions as you move through the WatchFree+ Guide. Continue to watch a show while browsing additional WatchFree+ channels. Long press the “OK” button while in the EPG guide to get a list of channel genres, making navigation easier. Quickly launch an on-demand movie or show directly from the program guide.

“This redesign makes it easier than ever to navigate and explore the continually expanding universe of entertainment across live and on demand programming,” Steve Yum, VP of software product management at Vizio, said in a statement.

WatchFree+ has grown to become the second-most-watched free ad-supported streaming app on Vizio. Driving this momentum are more than 260 premium channels and 6,000 movies and shows spanning 13 content genres, from news, movies and sports to kids and family, music and reality.

Vizio recently announced the launch of exclusive TV series premieres, including “Boston George: Famous Without the Fortune” (Cinedigm), “Sanitarium” (producer Bryan Ramirez and creator Kerry Valderrama), “Haunted Gold Rush” (Blue Ant Media) and the Space Science Now channel (MagellanTV).

With more than 6,000 movie and TV show titles to choose from, On Demand content can now be launched directly from the program guide including recently added titles COPs (Langley Productions), Canada’s “Drag Race and Hotel Paranormal” (Blue Ant Media).

A top performing format on WatchFree+, single series channels provide a unique viewing experience not available on traditional broadcast TV and gives viewers 24/7 free access to shows like “Ice Road Truckers” (A+E), “America’s Test Kitchen” (PBS), “Hell’s Kitchen l Kitchen Nightmares” (FilmRise) and new to WatchFree+, the British fantasy-adventure drama, “Merlin” (Fremantle).

Vizio has expanded crime programming with the addition of the “JAIL” pop-up channel from Langley Productions, the team behind the long-running reality series “COPs”.

Viewers can also enjoy shows on the recently added ION channel, which features series such as “NCIS,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Blue Bloods.”

Vizio Unveils ‘WatchFree+’ Fall AVOD/FAST Streaming Content Lineup

Consumer electronics manufacturer Vizio Oct. 18 disclosed the “Fall Fest” programming lineup for its ad supported WatchFree+ streaming platform. Fall Fest is a curated collection of TV shows, movies and originals that is accessible from the Vizio Home Screen and WatchFree+ streaming app.

“With exclusive TV shows, premium fan-favorites, and movie titles that have never before been seen on our features channels, Fall Fest is a one-stop destination for free fall TV viewing,” Katherine Pond, group VP of platform content and partnerships, said in a statement.

Content selections include:

  • “Boston George: Famous Without the Fortune,” a five-part docuseries from Cinedigm on the infamous drug smuggler George Jung, whose antics inspired the movie Blow;
  • “Sanitarium,” an original three-part miniseries that shares the stories of three particular patients of a mental institution;
  • “Haunted Gold Rush,” a two-part feature documentary that explores the ghostly mysteries along an historic Gold Rush Trail in British Columbia, told through the eyes of a female force of paranormal investigators;
  • on-demand TV series including “Canada’s Drag Race,” seasons two and three; and
  • “Hotel Paranormal,” season two, narrated by actor Dan Aykroyd, a firm believer in the paranormal.

Free ad-supported TV streaming channels include:

  • “Space Science Now” (channel 552), exploring black holes, dark matter and beyond with a deep collection of premium space and science documentaries and series;
  • Investigation (channel 350), which showcases true crime stories with a curated “Killer Thoughts” programming block, featuring never before seen episodes, including “Confessions of a Serial Killer,” “FBI Files,” and “Mafia Killers,” among others;
  • American Classics (channel 201), a curated collection of films, including Hondo starring John Wayne, Lured featuring Lucille Ball, and Human Bondage with Betty Davis;
  • Fork & Flight (channel 500), which features new seasons of “Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen” and newly added food and wine documentaries, including “Blood Into Wine” featuring Maynard James Keenan, “A Seat at the Table,” “A Year in Burgundy,” “Barbeque” and “That Sugar Film” featuring Damon Gameau;
  • Kick Back (channel 200), streaming 44 action movies, including the “WuTang Collection,” and movies starring Jackie Chan and Jean-Claude Van Damme, among others;
  • House (channel 501), which showcases horror homes that are rebuilt into beautiful masterpieces, including new episodes from “Mad About the Makeover” and “Building La Dolce Vita,” among others;
  • ION (channel 217), which features episodes of catalog TV dramas, including “NCIS,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Blue Bloods” and more;
  • Stories by AMC (channel 241), which dives into the cult-classic AMC shows such as “The Walking Dead,” “Turn,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Rectify,” “Making of the Mob” and “Into the Badlands,” among others;
  • All Weddings by WEtv (channel 332), which features outrageous, over the top, fairytale wedding shows; and
  • Baywatch (channel 210), which offers 24-hour access to the hit TV show starring David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, among others.