Blue Ant’s HauntTV joins VIZIO’s revamped WatchFree+ platform

Haunted Gold Rush

Channel operator and content creator Blue Ant Media has made several moves in the FAST channel business in recent times. In its latest venture, it has launched its paranormal channel HauntTV on to Vizio’s WatchFree+ streaming service. The deal includes the exclusive premieres of two original productions including Haunted Gold Rush – underlining a growing trend towards bespoke, differentiated content in FAST.

“October is perfect timing for VIZIO to bring HauntTV’s exclusive line-up of paranormal programming to its audiences, just ahead of Halloween,” said Jamie Schouela, president, global channels & media, Blue Ant Media. “We’re excited to celebrate HauntTV’s launch on the platform and to have VIZIO premiere two original productions, including our first-ever original to premiere globally on a FAST platform.”

Smart TV manufacturer VIZIO launched its AVOD/FAST platform WatchFree+ in 2018 – a service which is broadly analogous to Samsung TV Plus. Last week it revamped the service with a new programming guide and additional channels such as VIZIO Fork & Flight, which provides a mix of culinary and travel TV shows alongside content from digital creators, and Vizio Investigation, which provides real crime programming.

The latest update to WatchFree+ also uses VIZIO’s smart TV viewing data to inform programming preferences. This data-based approach has been used to build custom curated channels, a new “Featured” category with seasonal programming, themed collections and pop-up channels exclusive to WatchFree+. “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 personalise and customise the entertainment experience,” said Katherine Pond, VP of business development at VIZIO. “We now offer hundreds of free channels where we manage and control the programming for consumers and the ad inventory for marketers.”

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