Vizio aims to simplify streaming subscriptions with new payment, management tools

Smart TV maker Vizio has taken a new step to solidify a position as a simplified and integrated TV viewing destination – now making it possible for users to subscribe to, track payments for and manage multiple streaming services in one place.

On Tuesday the smart TV maker debuted Vizio Account, a new tool that enables the above-mentioned capabilities from the convenience of the Vizio mobile app.

With Vizio Account, users that have a Vizio SmartCast TV only need to login once, where they enter profile and payment information on a secure platform, and from there can sign up directly to new services and consolidate subscriptions into one location.

As for managing services that viewers have subscribed to with their Vizio Account, users have the ability to cancel a subscription, track payment history and monitor upcoming payments.  

The new capabilities come amidst an increasing number of streaming options alongside consumer fatigue from handling more and more subscriptions. According to TiVo, consumers’ average number of streaming services reached around nine as of Q4 2021. Meanwhile survey data from Hub Entertainment Research shows consumers are hungry for a simplified video experience, with 91% saying access to multiple services through a single device improves the viewing experience (more than half say aggregation makes the experience “a lot better.”)

Specific features Vizio called out for its Account feature include:

  • One place to subscribe, track payments and manage streaming services integrated with Vizio Account
  • Easy account maintenance for all Vizio TVs connected to Vizio Account
  •  Account management through the Vizio mobile app
  •  Automatic TV registration when Vizio Account is set up
  • Easier tech support check-in with TV registration
  • Access to special sales and offers
  • Email notifications for new features and products

At launch, Discovery+ and Starz are among streaming service partners for the Vizio Account where users can subscribe directly, as well as over 10 other subscription services on the smart TV platform today, according to a Vizio spokesperson. Vizio said additional services will be announced as they add support for Vizio Account. The Starz streaming app just debuted on Vizio smart TVs in the U.S. on Monday.

Vizio smart TV owners can also utilize easy sign-up for apps across popular genres including music, kids and family, interests and lifestyle.

Some of the “many other services” Vizio said are available now include Baby Einstein, Midnight Pulp, AsianCrush, CineHouse, KorTV, RetroCrush, Cocoro, ToonGoogles, Love Destination, Wu Tang and Party Tyme, The Archive, and Novocomedy.

Additional services are expected to add Vizio Account support this fall – including WeatherChannel, according to the spokesperson, with others to be announced in the months to come.

“The launch of Vizio Account lays an important foundation for streamlining payment and subscriptions on our platform,” said Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue and strategy officer at Vizio, in a statement. “Vizio Account will provide consumers with more choice and greater control over their entertainment investments while giving our partners a dynamic marketplace for delivering offers.”

In a recent column on Fierce Video, TVREV lead analyst Alan Wolk pointed to “The Great Rebundling” as continuing along at pace, saying it shouldn’t be surprising if smart TV OEMs follow other aggregators by allowing users to subscribe to SVOD services and/or bundles through their existing FAST apps.

He called out the benefits of simplicity for consumers, along with more stability for advertisers, production companies and Wall Street.

“If you’re an OEM of any sort and you have a FAST service, becoming an aggregator is a smart move. Consumers want simplicity and if you can offer that to them in the form of an easy way to aggregate all their subscriptions, all the better,” wrote Wolk.  “Driving viewers through your FAST’s interface every time they turn on the TV, regardless of what they are watching, is going to net you more revenue than forcing them to go directly to an app for their SVOD fix.”

As noted earlier, the Vizio Account marks a key starting step for more streamlined aggregated subscription experiences on Vizio smart TVs.

Vizio reports second quarter earnings this week on Wednesday, August 10.