Vizio’s Profit On Ads, Subscriptions, and Data Is Double The Money It Makes Selling TVs

The TV maker released its latest earnings report on Tuesday and revealed that over the last three months, its Platform Plus segment that includes advertising and viewer data had a gross profit of $57.3 million. That's more than twice the amount of profit it made selling devices like TVs, which was $25.6 million, despite those device sales pulling in considerably more revenue. The Verge reports: When Vizio filed to go public, it described the difference between the two divisions. While Devices is easy to understand -- 4K TVs, soundbars, etc. -- Platform Plus is a little more complicated. It counts money made from selling ad placements on its TV homescreens, deals for the buttons on remotes, ads that run on streaming channels, its cut from subscriptions, and viewer data that it tracks and sells as part of the InScape program. The company says shipments of its TVs fell to 1.4 million in 2021 compared to 2.1 million in 2020, a drop of 36 percent. CEO William Wang told investors on the call that he sees "pretty healthy inventory" going into the holiday season, so anyone planning to pick up a value-priced TV or soundbar should have some decent options available. That spike in Platform Plus revenue, which shot up 136 percent compared to last year, did a lot to help Vizio make up the difference as profits from TVs dipped compared to last year. Supply chain and logistics problems affecting many companies hit Vizio hard, too, but execs also said the company is working with its third-party partners to help find warehouse and trucking employees. Where the numbers keep growing is in its number of active SmartCast accounts, which are now over 14 million, and how much money it makes from each user on average. That number has nearly doubled from last year, going from $10.44 to $19.89. On the call with investors and analysts, Vizio execs said 77 percent of that money comes directly from advertising, like the kind that runs on its WatchFree Plus package of streaming channels, a group that recently expanded with content targeting. The next biggest contributor is the money it makes selling Inscape data about what people are watching.

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