The latest Vizio TV feature, which is currently in beta, allows networks like FOX to stick “Jump Ads” on top of cable or OTA programs. These ads aren’t for selling products—instead, they redirect to streaming services, encouraging customers to binge shows that they just watched live.
According to Vizio’s press release, Jump Ads help “bridge the gap between linear TV and streaming services.” That’s a pretty weird way to talk about ads, but to be fair, I don’t think that Jump Ads are a bad idea. I regularly get emails from readers who are frustrated by their smart TV’s terrible app navigation, and Jump Ads could mitigate the problem a bit.
Jump Ads gives content providers a new opportunity to engage viewers beyond a single linear session with the ability to fully control and customize the user journey between platforms. This includes the ability to choose at what point of the show the ads will appear, how often they appear, and even to which app the overlay points.
But the implementation for Jump Ads is a bit creepy. Vizio says it’s using automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to detect when a participating show or movie is on your TV. This technology sounds pretty advanced, as Vizio claims that it can insert Jump Ad banners at any point during a broadcast.
And unfortunately, Jump Ads may not point to your preferred streaming services. FOX is the first customer to try Jump Ads, and it’s using the feature to redirect Welcome to Flatch viewers to the FOX Now app. That’s a bit frustrating, as Welcome to Flatch is also available on Hulu.
If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that Jump Ads aren’t too annoying. Some customers won’t even notice the feature, while others may actually enjoy it. And hey, at least Vizio isn’t sticking random mattress ads over football games—I’m looking at you, Roku.