Vizio launches tool to consolidate streaming subscriptions

A Vizio SmartCast-enabled television set. (Photo courtesy Locast/Vizio, Graphic by The Desk)

Television manufacturer Vizio announced a new tool on Tuesday that will allow users of its smart TV sets to manage subscriptions to their favorite streaming services from within a single app.

The tool, called Vizio Account, will allow customers to enter their payment information, then subscribe to premium streaming services from a central location.

“The launch of Vizio Account lays an important foundation for streamlining payment and subscriptions on our platform,” Mike O’Donnell, the chief revenue officer at Vizio, said in a press release. “Vizio Account will provide consumers with more choice and greater control over their entertainment investments, while giving our partners a dynamic marketplace for delivering offers.”

At launch, Vizio Account supports a number of third-party streaming services, including Discovery Plus and Starz, the latter of which was recently added to Vizio’s streaming platform SmartCast. The company says additional streaming services will be supported later this year.

In addition to providing a central tool for managing a user’s streaming subscriptions, Vizio says the service will make it easier for customers to download and log in to streaming services when they purchase new Vizio TVs.

Vizio Account will also send customers e-mail notifications for special deals on streaming services and Vizio products, along with information about new features for their SmartCast-enabled sets.

Vizio says the Vizio Account tool is available for “the vast majority” of SmartCast TV sets.

The feature bears a striking resemblance to one offered by Roku for some time, where users are able to sign up for various subscriptions from within the Roku Channel. Roku will also remember which apps a customer has downloaded on previous devices and ask users if they want to re-download those apps automatically when they purchase new Roku streaming hardware, though the platform doesn’t automatically remember log-in credentials for services like Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.

Vizio Account also sounds similar to MyBundle.TV, a streaming television marketplace that serves up suggestions on which services a viewer should purchase based on the type of content they want. Earlier this year, MyBundle.TV began rolling out a native payment processing feature, with Dish Network’s Sling TV as its first client.

But where MyBundle.TV is available for anyone to use, Vizio Account is limited to Vizio TV sets. Customers who take advantage of Vizio Account might be persuaded to purchase more TV sets from Vizio in the future, especially if the feature offers a frictionless way to manage subscriptions across multiple Vizio TVs.

That could help Vizio attract new customers and convince current ones from switching, which could help Vizio improve its struggling hardware sales. Earlier this year, a Vizio executive said the decrease in global output for its TV sets was attributed to more people returning to the office and taking vacation as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic began to ease.

“We are increasingly confident in our ability to grow our TV unit shipment volume this year compared to last year,” Adam Townsen, Vizio’s finance director, said in a prepared statement.

Vizio will disclose its next quarterly financial repot on Wednesday.