Two of the 24-hour channels, streaming on Vizio’s SmartCast platform, center on individual shows: Deal or No Deal and Wipeout. The DIY Daily channel features renovation, gardening and design series like Restoration Home, Restoration Man and Build a New Life in the Country. Reel Truth Crime runs true-crime documentaries like Crime Investigation Australia and Missing Persons Unit.
Combined, the four offerings have 600 total episodes, all of which can be accessed by searching “comfort food TV.”
Vizio is one of the dominant players in the growing smart TV sector, along with Samsung and TCL. One in every five smart-TVs uses Vizio’s interface, yielding valuable viewership data from “the glass” — a more comprehensive view of audience behavior than most third-party measurement can offer. The company’s roughly 15 million sets in the U.S. marked a 108% increase in viewing in April compared with March, defined by total viewing by unique households across both ad-supported and subscription services.
The advertising climate of 2020 has entered a highly unpredictable period due to COVID-19, but the pandemic appears to be accelerating the long-developing trend of ad buyers redirecting dollars from linear to streaming. Roku, whose interface on TV sets built by TCL and other manufacturers has helped it reach 40 million active streaming accounts, said last month its ad business saw “higher than normal cancellations” in the first quarter. But total revenue still rose 55% in the period, and the company said it would continue to benefit from “ad-spend that has moved to Roku from traditional TV budgets.”
Mike O’Donnell, SVP of Vizio’s platform business, said the company has about five dozen channels on SmartCast Home, spanning fitness, fashion, news and sports. He told Deadline that while streaming channels are a “relatively new undertaking for the company,” the value proposition for content providers and advertisers is that TV can be the centerpiece of the smart home, not only a place for streaming content.” The fact that sets are installed with the free channels also drives higher usage than connected apps that require a third-party distributor.
Endemol Shine has actively looked for new pathways beyond linear TV for its library of 68,000 hours of programming, establishing a presence on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Amazon and Tubi.
Kasia Jablonska, head of digital distribution and monetization for Endemol Shine Group, said the deal offers a large-scale platform during a time of “a surge in streaming content overall.” The agreement “demonstrates our continued commitment to contributing to the future of TV,” she added.
“Vizio is dedicated to delivering the latest in entertainment and providing audiences with endless entertainment options, all while staying healthy and safe in their homes,” said Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio. “Endemol Shine’s commitment to deliver a unique content offering to Vizio will bolster our thriving free, ad-supported TV content that people can enjoy out-of-the-box.”