Vizio, known for its TVs, is now making nearly as much money off of the data it collects and ads it sells — at the consumer’s expense.
Vizio has a troubled history of collecting data from its smart TV viewers, with the FCC fining it in 2017 for collecting and selling viewer data without consent. Although the company is now more transparent about its practices, profiting off of viewer data has become a major part of its business.
According to the company’s quarterly results, it had a gross profit of $38.4 million for its Platform+ business, the part of its business that collects data and sells advertising. In contrast, the company had a gross profit of $48.2 million from Devices.
Even more telling, Devices gross profit grew 48%, considerably less than the 152% increase in Platform+ gross profits. The disparity demonstrates how the collection of data, and profiting from it, will continue to be a major focus for the company.
While some customers may be ok with their viewing habits data being collected and sold to advertisers, privacy-conscious consumers would do well to choose a different brand, or take measures to disable data collection.