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Vizio begins rolling out new home screen interface

The update comes as Vizio looks to invest more in its native streaming ecosystem, making it more attractive to users and advertisers alike.

The update comes as Vizio looks to invest more in its native streaming ecosystem, making it more attractive to users and advertisers alike.

Vizio is rolling out a new user interface for the home screen of its smart TVs, the company announced this week.

The home screen was first teased during an advertiser event in May, during which a Vizio executive affirmed the new home screen would make it easier for users to find new streaming content, manage their streaming apps and receive personalized messaging from marketers.

The new Vizio home screen interface puts streaming content front and center. (Courtesy image)

The new home screen keeps the familiar ribbon of pre-installed streaming apps, but now features a larger “hero” graphic at the top of the screen with a rotating display of promotions for streaming content and services. A left-hand menu offers easy access to a user’s home screen, apps and Vizio’s WatchFree Plus streaming service, as well as features like Apple AirPlay and various settings.

“The Vizio Home Screen is the next step in our evolution to bring our consumers the best entertainment experience,” Kaitlyn Collins, the vice president of product marketing at Vizio, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make it easy for our consumers to experience our latest innovations as soon as they are available, even on older Vizio TVs.”

To that end, Vizio says the new home screen will be supported on SmartCast-enabled models manufactured as early as 2016, with some TV sets receiving the new interface as soon as this week.

“The rollout and availability of the new Vizio Home Screen is another manifestation of the idea that, even after consumers purchase a TV from us, we’ll continue to offer value, support, and innovation to their viewing experience,” Collins affirmed.

That last point is particularly important to Vizio’s bottom line: The company has seen relatively flat sales of its smart TVs over the last few months, but its connected TV business — which includes the sale of advertising inventory on its home screen and WatchFree Plus — has grown by double digits for several consecutive quarters.

In May, Vizio said it earned more than $125 million from its connected TV platform during the first three months of the year, an increase of 22 percent compared to the same time period in 2022. More than 17.5 million users are plugged in to Vizio’s SmartCast platform, the company affirmed.

During a conference call with investors, Vizio Chief Financial Officer Adam Townsend said the data harvested from opted-in Vizio TV users showed more time was spent interacting with apps and streaming content powered by Platform Plus than on cable TV boxes, streaming dongles or game consoles.

“This behavior is directly increasing our monetization opportunities in multiple ways, including our home screen advertising, video impressions, data and content distribution,” Townsend said.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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