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Here’s What to Know About Walmart Buying Vizio

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Walmart has officially been shopping in the TV aisle, announcing today that it’s buying Vizio for $2.3 billion.

According to Walmart, the purchase of the TV manufacturer and its SmartCast Operating System (OS), which has more than 18 million active accounts, will enable the company to reach customers in new ways, creating more opportunities to help advertisers connect with consumers and further accelerating Walmart’s media business in the U.S., Walmart Connect.

The deal has far-reaching implications for the ad industry, especially as companies look to compete with Amazon, and ADWEEK spoke with insiders to learn about the impact on retail media, connected TV and beyond.

According to experts, Vizio’s operating system is key to the deal, allowing Walmart to collect valuable ACR data to enhance advertising.

“This ACR data provides very powerful targeting capabilities—which Amazon doesn’t have at Vizio’s scale—for Walmart Connect to compete with some of the other companies out there,” Ken Suh, CSO, Nexxen, told ADWEEK.

Essentially, the move makes Walmart an even bigger player in the retail and connected TV space. And with Insider Intelligence forecasting that retail media will be the fastest-growing ad channel across media through 2027, growing by more than 20% each year, the announcement is a differentiator.

“Walmart will become a more prominent ad seller as it ingests CTV inventory from Vizio,” Ross Benes, Insider Intelligence analyst, said. “Additionally, the ACR data generated from Vizio viewers will help Walmart’s ad business inch closer to a closed-loop system resembling Amazon.”

The CTV space is booming, with companies such as Roku expecting to rake in more than a billion in advertising in 2024. And the addition of Vizio could help Walmart compete.

“Walmart’s consumer reach could propel Vizio’s ad business to eventually rival Samsung and Roku. If that happens, and it’s not clear that it will, then Walmart-Vizio could become a top five CTV ad seller in the U.S., and eventually, globally,” Benes added.

Of course, there are still issues the company will have to overcome. For instance, Suh noted that the retailer could push more consumers to its Vizio TVs, and Benes said that could bring backlash.

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