TikTok and Vizio team up for custom smart TV integration — Sorensen

Eric Sorenson Parks Associates

Consumer technology research firm Parks Associates finds 60% of U.S. internet households with a connected entertainment device chose smart TVs as their preferred device to consume video in Q1 2022. Samsung, Roku, Amazon, LG, Vizio and Google are the main players controlling the point of consumption and are expected to become even more powerful within the streaming industry over time.

Both consumers and industry stakeholders are focusing on the smart TV as the entertainment centerpiece of the home. Though other platforms such as game consoles are still used to consume video, consumers are moving to the smart TV as their device of choice, and secondarily toward streaming players. Similarly, advertisers, measurement companies and other industry players now consider the smart TV as the key video consumption device in the home.

PA streaming video chart

As highlighted in the Parks Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker, smart TV manufacturer Vizio has partnered with TikTok to make content available on all Vizio smart TVs. Users can watch videos from TikTok creators directly without the need to download an additional app. TikTok TV content will rotate in a carousel on the Vizio homepage. Vizio TV owners will be able to find videos from TikTok producers and subjects right from the smart TV home screen, without having to sign in or go app diving.

Recently, Parks Associates spoke with Katherine Pond, vice president of business development at Vizio, about the company's new collaboration with TikTok and how it views the social media content from TikTok as a product differentiator.

Pond said, “We did a custom integration with TikTok that has never been done before with a TV manufacturer.” On the OS home screen, Vizio smart TV owners will see deep links to various genres of TikTok content. The genres of content are curated by TikTok in the carousel, but what genre of content the consumer sees in those tiles eventually evolves based on algorithms tied to content viewing preferences.

Pond went on to say, “As a TV manufacturer, we have the hardware, software and data to create these unique experiences and integrations that you can't do if you are partnering with someone who is distributing in someone else's environment. Owning the technology stack helps Vizio differentiate the short video and viral viewing experience.”

This is not TikTok's first smart TV integration, but the unique carousel on the Vizio home screen is an industry first for TikTok on television sets. Once viewers interact with social TikTok content, Vizio may leverage the resulting data to enhance program content experiences across its smart TV platform. Vizio believes the custom integration of deep links into all the trending social genres of content has positioned it to be the first TV manufacturer with a rich social content TV experience. Those with a Vizio smart TV and an existing TikTok account may connect their accounts to see "For You" and "Following" video feeds on the TV screen.

While viewing social media content on the big screen is not new, having curated genres of content tied to your viewing habits on your living room TV is. TV manufacturers, aggregators, and all OTT services are looking for ways to simplify the consumer's discovery process. These personalized social viewing experiences on streaming and connected TV environments might just simplify the content discovery process.

Parks Associates will present consumer research impacting the streaming video market and address key trends and topics affecting the video and connected entertainment industries during its annual Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media conference. In its fifth year, Future of Video hosts virtual sessions throughout the year and will host in-person sessions in December.

Eric Sorensen is an accomplished sports and news media executive with extensive knowledge in developing live streaming and D\digital Media strategies. His diverse background includes; business management, product development, digital ad sales, videogame development, social content strategies, sponsorship development, and TV production. Sorensen spent over 15 years at ESPN helping pioneer the launch of WatchESPN, The Longhorn Network, and SEC digital network. Prior to joining Parks Associates, he served as director of advertising and digital and social content for the Houston Astros.

Parks Associates marketer Tam Williams contributed to this column.

Industry Voices are opinion columns written by outside contributors—often industry experts or analysts—who are invited to the conversation by Fierce Video staff. They do not necessarily represent the opinions of Fierce Video.