VIZIO, Inc., America’s leading Smart TV company, announced the launch of VIZIO Ads, a new business unit created to provide better advertising experiences to consumers and brands alike.

The new business will enable brands, agencies and advertisers to purchase premium TV ad inventory across the VIZIO SmartCastTM platform, including within the launch and discovery environment, partner OTT apps, and throughout VIZIO’s popular WatchFree™ service.

“One of the best ways to improve the TV viewing experience is to improve the state of TV advertising,” said VIZIO founder and CEO William Wang. “The launch of direct advertising across our TV platform isn’t just good business for us, it’s an investment we’re making to help the industry at large and will benefit the most important part of our business, the viewer at home.”

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As part of the formation of the new direct advertising business, VIZIO is opening a New York City office led by advertising veteran Mike O’Donnell who will oversee a team with people across the country.

The connected TV (CTV) advertising market is expected to surpass $7 billion in 2019, exceeding analyst expectations.  VIZIO Ads is poised to capitalize on this trend as one of the few connected TV companies with device penetration, consumer opt-in and infrastructure to deliver meaningful scale.

“As viewing behaviors shift and the marketplace for connected TV advertising explodes, brands need to find new ways to reach audiences on the biggest screen in the house,” said Mike O’Donnell, SVP of VIZIO’s Platform Business. “A direct-to-TV advertising business not only helps brands find new, more relevant ways to engage with viewers, but it also gives them peace of mind knowing their OTT ad budget is actually making it to the screen of a TV.”

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VIZIO Ads will take an open platform approach to its premium video inventory business, ensuring any media owner or advertiser can work with and leverage the systems they’re already accustomed to using. The company offers a unique combination of premium inventory combined with direct publisher relationships, resulting in tier one targeted TV inventory being sold with app-level transparency for advertisers.

VIZIO Ads will continue the work of bringing increased transparency to the TV market by working closely with Inscape, the TV data company and a subsidiary of VIZIO that provides near real-time viewing data to media companies, agency holding companies and measurement firms.

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