Massive TVs with razor-thin frames, brilliant image quality, and streaming services built-in are more affordable than ever thanks to companies like Vizio and TCL.
If you want a 65-inch 4K smart TV with HDR capability, one can be purchased for below $500 — a surprisingly low price for such a massive piece of technology, nonetheless one that’s likely to live in your home for years before you upgrade.
But that low price comes with a caveat most people don’t realize: Some manufacturers collect data about users, then sell that data to third-parties. That data can include what type of shows you watch, which ads you watch, your approximate location, and more.
A recent interview on The Verge’s podcast with Vizio CTO Bill Baxter did a great job illuminating exactly how this works.
“This is a cutthroat industry. It’s a 6% margin industry,” Baxter said. “The greater strategy is I really don’t need to make money off of the TV. I need to cover my cost.”
More specifically, companies like Vizio don’t need to make money from every TV they sell.
Smart TVs can be sold at or near cost to consumers — which is great for consumers — because Vizio is able to monetize those TVs through data collection, advertising, and selling direct-to-consumer entertainment (movies, etc.) — which is less great for consumers.
Or, as Baxter put it: “It’s not just about data collection. It’s about post-purchase monetization of the TV.”
And there are a few different ways to monetize those TVs post-purchase.
“You sell some movies, you sell some TV shows, you sell some ads, you know. It’s not really that different than The Verge website,” he said.
It’s those additional forms of revenue that helps make the large, beautiful smart TVs from companies like Vizio and TCL so affordable.
Without that revenue stream, Baxter said, consumers would be paying more upfront cost. “We’d collect a little bit more margin at retail to offset it.”
The exchange is fascinating and worth listening to in full — check it out right here.
Farewell then, to the Chromecast Audio dongle – Google has confirmed it’s discontinuing the product, which was launched back in 2015. The product is no longer available to buy direct from Google, and it won’t be getting restocked. For those who aren’t aware, the Chromecast Audio dongle was designed to attach to a regular speaker...
LAS VEGAS – You’ve probably played Pong before, but have you played it on a gigantic, RGB-lit arcade cabinet? That’s exactly what we just did here at CES on the Atari Pong Table, one of several high-end cabinets that seem like a perfect fit for your local bar, arcade, or your living room — if...