Vizio has revamped its WatchFree streaming experience, given it a brand new look, and tacked a “plus” on the end of its service’s title. (Because if a streaming service doesn’t include the symbol, does it even really count?)
With the update announced today, the service formerly known as WatchFree is getting new navigation features to improve search and discovery of free content with recommendations that cater to a viewer’s individual interest. Plus, its live programming guide now offers hundreds of free channels across a surprisingly comprehensive number of genres — everything from comedy and sports to a lengthy list of entertainment channels.
Vizio’s revamped WatchFree Plus service.Image: Vizio
In addition, Vizio’s WatchFree Plus program guide now includes a “featured” category for seasonal content, themed collections, so-called “pop-up” channels (or hubs for limited-time programming) as well as Vizio-exclusive, custom-curated channels (these include one called Fork & Flight for food content and Vizio Investigations, its crime channel). Users with Vizio’s voice-enabled remote can navigate the program guide that way, or the guide can be voice-navigated through the SmartCast Mobile for iOS and Android.
According to Vizio, its free and ad-supported streaming service is one of the top content sources on its SmartCast TVs. And data about viewing habits — which is core to its ad business — was “key” to the WatchFree Plus redesign, the company said. Users who wish to opt-out of Vizio’s data collection about watch habits or delete viewing data can do so from the “reset and admin” menu from their system settings. Detailed instructions on finding the setting can be found right here.
“WatchFree+ provides audiences with access to the channels and programming you expect with cable, but in a free streaming environment that makes it easy to personalize and customize the entertainment experience,” Katherine Pond, vice president of business development at Vizio, said in a statement.