Walmart Buys Vizio

What does a cool $2.3 billion get you? A well-established TV manufacturer if you're Walmart. Just announced this morning, Walmart is acquiring Vizio in a deal to expand its ad business. Tom Warren at The Verge has more.

“The acquisition of Vizio and its SmartCast Operating System (OS) would enable Walmart to connect with and serve its customers in new ways including innovative television and in-home entertainment and media experiences,” says Walmart in a press release. “It would also create new opportunities to help advertisers connect with customers, empowering brands with differentiated and compelling opportunities to engage at scale and to realize greater impact from their advertising spend with Walmart.”

Vizio has more than 500 direct advertiser partnerships, thanks to its Vizio Platform Plus business — which the company says “now accounts for a majority of the company’s gross profit.” Vizio’s smart TV OS, SmartCast, is also used by more than 18 million active accounts.

The Verge

Visio has been around for a long time and is an established brand of cheap TVs. But as I've written before, cheap TVs are cheap for a good reason: they're spying on you. Constantly.

It's no secret that TVs have become a perfect place for advertising. You are a captive viewer. Even when you turn the TV on, it can be set up to show you an ad before you even get to open the app you want or begin viewing the show or movie you've queued up.

If this clears any legal hurdles after 45-days, it will be interesting to see how Walmart incorporates Vizio into its offerings, especially the Walmart+ subscription.

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