Vizio’s SmartCast smart TV platform now has approximately 15 million monthly active users, up from 12 million in March 2021.
CFO Adam Townsend provided the updated user total this week during Needham’s 24th annual growth conference and said the company has grown its user base by approximately 35% to 40% over the last year. He added that more than 85% to 90% of the time, Vizio users are accessing content directly via the SmartCast platform.
Like Roku, Vizio is beginning to see its platform business exceed its hardware. Townsend said that during the second quarter of 2021, his company’s gross profit dollars from the platform business surpassed the hardware business—which has a $2 billion revenue base—for the first time.
Vizio’s platform business approached $300 million in revenue in 2021 and saw a higher than 60% profit margin.
“It is fundamentally transforming who Vizio is today and we’re excited about our positioning in the broader CTV ecosystem,” Townsend said.
A growing part of Vizio’s smart TV platform business is the WatchFree+ streaming service, which last month reached agreements with Disney, Lionsgate, Sony and more to build out an AVOD library alongside its free, ad-supported linear channels.
WatchFree+ now offers more than 4,000 free movies, TV shows and Vizio exclusives to SmartCast TV users from more than 17 content and studio partners. Partners include Disney (Daredevil, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Alien Resurrection); Lionsgate (Southpaw, The Founder and Lion); Sony Pictures (Air Force One, Tears of the Sun and Stealth); and MGM (The Boondock Saints, The Lazarus Effect and The Woman in Black 2).
“Today’s audiences want quality on demand movies and TV shows on their own terms. Vizio’s AVOD offering gives SmartCast users an extensive catalog of free programming for them to enjoy whenever they want, all with easy search and discovery capabilities,” said Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue officer at Vizio, in a statement. “With the evolution of WatchFree+ on demand programming, SmartCast users can now browse through hundreds of shows and movies to watch at any time, for free, and without any subscriptions or logins required.”