Walmart-Vizio Deal: The Next Iteration Of Streaming, Performance Marketing?

TV set manufacturers have been willing to lose money on device sales in recent years in the hopes that smart TV will spring to life -- selling advertising and potential subscriptions from possible streaming apps and other products.

But it’s a long road to profitability. Still, the likes of low-cost or mid-sized players like Vizio Holdings had little choice. 
For Walmart, which already is one of the biggest retail sales operators for low-end connected TV sets, making a deal with Vizio is an obvious choice.
“By diversifying off site inventory, Walmart could open opportunities to leverage their customer data via Walmart Connect to reach potential purchasers in Vizio OS,” says Amy Rumpler,senior vice president/search & social media services for Basis Technologies, which uses Walmart’s Retail Media Network.
She adds: “The opposite connection is also interesting: Any viewership information Walmart captures through Vizio could help them better understand consumers, and improve targeting inside their other O&O properties.”
Amazon and Roku realized this a long time ago -- and then did some re-engineering, establishing their own brand-name association affixed on TV sets -- after starting streaming platforms, first through co-branded deals, and with their fully-owned TV set brand-name products.
Of course, all this adds to both Amazon and Walmart's efforts around retail media. Specifically, performance-based marketing that can measure return on media investment via selling of products online and in physical stores is a major advantage.
Some would say all this leaves Roku playing catch-up.



So should the dominant streaming distributors look for closer ties with ecommerce in terms of consumer products and retail sales companies? 

Walmart accounts for 40% of Roku device revenues. What does that now mean for the big streaming distributor's business? Device sales are still important for the company as it continues to ratchet up its complimentary smart TV platform advertising and subscription revenues. 
For years, Roku has been under-appreciated when it comes to playing against bigger legacy TV media companies. Can it continue to find more room to grow?
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