Skip to main content

Vizio Set IPO Shares at $21-$23 And Reveals SmartCast Metrics

Vizio IPO SmartCast
Chart shows growing share of SmartCast usage by Vizio set buyers (Image credit: Vizio)

Vizio, starting the roadshow for its initial public offering, revealed how fast the streaming business built on its smart TV’s is growing.

Vizio  said it plans to sell 15.1 million shares at between $21 and $23 per share.

The financial data the company provided to potential investors shows that its platform business--selling advertising and data based on its base of streaming viewers--is growing faster than its device business.

“The success of our Device business has created a massive growth opportunity for us. Our Smart TVs provide us with the opportunity to add consumers that are actively engaged with our SmartCast operating system, which in turn, expands our Platform Plus  monetization opportunities,” the company said in its filing.

“While we generate the significant majority of our total net revenue from sales of our Smart TVs and sound bars, our Platform Plus net revenue has grown 304.4% from $36.4 million in 2018 to $147.2 million in 2020. We believe that Platform Plus will be the key driver of our future margin growth and financial performance.”

Revenue for Platform Plus, which includes SmartCast streaming and Vizio’s Inscape data unit, grew to $147.2 million from $63.2 million in 2020. Device revenue increased to $1.9 billion from $1.7 billion.

Gross profits for Platform Plus rose to $111.9 million from $40.1 million, while device profits increased to $184.5 million from $125 million.

Vizio said that in 2020, it shipped 71 million smart TV's and added 4.6 million active SmartCast accounts--a 65% conversion rate. 

Vizio has 12.2 million active accounts at the end of the year making it a big player in the streaming ecosystem.

Hours spent watching SmartCast rose 156% to 11.596 billion, or about 45% per account. 

Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased 78% to $12.99 from $7.31 

A letter included in the filing from Vizio founder and CEO William Wang spells out his plans for the company.

"At Vizio, we find value in the home. There is something so universally comforting about being in your own space. Yet something I’ve noticed is that, at home, we still crave ways to connect ourselves to a larger community. The TV industry has not been focused on this connection,” Wang said.

“We want Vizio be that connection, to be the portal connecting the home to the outside world. We envision the VizioSmart TV as the center of the connected home—where families play games together, where friends watch movies together, where work and learning happen and where all things in between take place,” he said. Given our large customer base, we have the perfect opportunity to make the VIZIO vision for the future a reality."

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.