Vizio launches smart TV advertising business

TV manufacturer Vizio today launched Vizio Ads, a new business unit that will let brands, agencies and advertisers purchase TV ad inventory across the Vizio SmartCast platform.

Ad inventory will be available within the launch and discovery environment, partner OTT apps and throughout Vizio’s WatchFree service.

“One of the best ways to improve the TV viewing experience is to improve the state of TV advertising,” said Vizio founder and CEO William Wang, in a statement. “The launch of direct advertising across our TV platform isn’t just good business for us, it’s an investment we’re making to help the industry at large and will benefit the most important part of our business, the viewer at home.”

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As part of the formation of the new direct advertising business, Vizio is opening a New York City office led by advertising executive Mike O’Donnell.

“As viewing behaviors shift and the marketplace for connected TV advertising explodes, brands need to find new ways to reach audiences on the biggest screen in the house,” said O’Donnell in a statement. “A direct-to-TV advertising business not only helps brands find new, more relevant ways to engage with viewers, it gives them peace of mind knowing their OTT ad budget is actually making it to the screen of a TV.”

Vizio Ads plans to offer its video inventory business through an open platform, so any media owner or advertiser can work with and use the systems they already have in place. The company will offer ad inventory combined with direct publisher relationships.

Vizio Ads will continue working closely with Inscape, the TV data company and subsidiary of Vizio that provides viewing data to media companies, agency holding companies and measurement firms.