When the average consumer thinks of Vizio, they are mostly thinking about a company selling them TV’s. With the new age of advertising, the software side of the business has made a leap into marketing, including providing new channels that cater to the consumer’s interests.
One new channel coming to the company’s WatchFree Plus platform next month is Polaris, which Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue officer at Vizio, announced at Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit sponsored by Vizio. Polaris is a 100 percent Black-owned television, digital and special media platform founded by Rahman J. Dukes, a former MTV and Revolt exec.
“It’s a new multi-platform network that’s created by journalists,” said O’Donnell. “The channel is focused on urban and hip-hop culture, and it’s being launched by this team of industry veterans with a vision of supporting emerging creators — looking for a home to tell their stories.”
Vizio consumers will be able to sample Polaris content including “Method to the Madness,” a biography of rapper Method Man. “Hip-hop is something that we’ve identified that there’s demand for from our consumers, and the best way for us to work with a partner like that — not only to work with them to create a great platform for them to distribute it, but also create a great experience for our consumers to search and discover that on our platform,” said O’Donnell.
The addition of Polaris is part of Vizio’s strategy of integrating the software platform into its core hardware business. “We think it’s really important that when we sell our hardware, we have a really great platform for consumers as well,” he said. “We make money from the business side when we sell the television — but then, how do we make money once the consumer turns the television on?”
The conversation was moderated by Andrew Wallenstein, president and chief media analyst of Variety Intelligence Platform.
Watch the full discussion above.
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