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Vizio shares new ad formats amid pending Walmart sale

Apr 30, 2024
Vizio's Chief Revenue & Strategic Growth Officer Michael O'Donnell standing on a stage in front of a seated crowd. There's a screen behind him that says Customers are #1

Vizio's chief revenue and strategic growth officer Michael O'Donnell. Photo: Kerry Flynn/Axios

Vizio touted its strength in connected TV advertising in a presentation yesterday. The company highlighted the attention on its home screen, and assured advertisers that it is committed to them — even with the whole Walmart takeover thing looming.

Why it matters: Walmart's agreement to buy Vizio for $2.3 billion has spooked some advertisers on future changes at the smart TV company.

The latest: Vizio said Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission issued a second request from the two companies in relation to their deal, a sign that the agency has more questions about the antitrust impact.

What they're saying: Toward the top of Monday's presentation, Vizio chief revenue and strategic growth officer Michael O'Donnell said, "I know a lot of you are here today hoping to learn more about the latest chapter in our journey — our pending acquisition by Walmart."

  • "While we're excited for what this means for our businesses, we're not going to comment on that in this show beyond what we've already stated publicly. There's my legal disclaimer," he continued.
  • "But it's no secret: Walmart's been a great partner for us over the years, and this would only accelerate all the good work the Vizio team is doing to make the TV and advertising experience a better one for our customers," he said.
  • "Our focus will remain unchanged. We have always and will always be about our customers," O'Donnell said.

Zoom in: Vizio is expanding access to an ad product called Vizio Recommends. When a Vizio user has stopped searching on the TV, an ad can appear. The ad format is available to content companies that can promote a show along with quick-service restaurants and food delivery services.

  • "We never just want to clutter our home screen with ads. We want to be about experiences," Vizio's group vice president of advertising Adam Bergman told Axios. "We're pairing delivery and food and dining with the content experience."
  • Vizio added pause ads to its free streaming service WatchFree+, an innovative ad format that has grown in popularity and is available on Hulu and other services.
  • Vizio also updated its sports hub and launched new content collections, focused on gaming and news, that are open to advertisers.
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