TelevisaUnivision Drops Vix+ Brand But Keeps Dual-Tier Streaming Setup Under Vix Banner As Q1 Results Reflect Advertising Slowdown

TelevisaUnivision Drops Vix+ Brand But Keeps Dual-Tier Streaming Setup Under Vix Banner As Q1 Results Reflect Advertising Slowdown

April 25, 2023

TelevisaUnivision, which rolled out a two-tiered streaming offering under the Vix and Vix+ brands in 2022, is unifying them under the Vix banner.

The ditching of the “plus,” a ubiquitous symbol in streaming, is not accompanied by a change in strategy in terms of providing both a free, ad-supported tier and a paid, premium one. The Spanish-language media giant made the announcement as it reported soft results for the first quarter due to a slowdown in advertising hitting companies across the media and tech sectors over the past few months.

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Revenue inched up 6% to $1.1 billion, though U.S. advertising grew just 2%. Reporting on a pro forma basis (given comparisons with the year-ago period, when the merger of Univision and Televisa formally closed), the company said operating income before depreciation and amortization fell 10% from the 2022 quarter to $361 million.

CEO Wade Davis said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts that the streaming rebrand followed a period of evaluation over the past several months. Despite initial results he described as “very validating of our two-tier product strategy,” Davis said it has entailed a degree of “operational complexity” for employees.

“One of our main learnings from the past couple quarters relates to brand efficiency and customer confusion around the marketing of these two tiers as separate brands,” he said. “Separate campaigns and separate brands for two different tiers inside of the same service ended up being confusing to the consumer and expensive for us.”

He added that the “plus” is generally used by traditional companies expanding into streaming or digital media, citing Disney+, Paramount+ and other examples. Digitally native players with both free and subscription offerings don’t tend to opt for the plus symbol. “It’s not Spotify+; it’s just Spotify,” Davis noted.

Asked about the state of upfront sales, Davis said the company is seeing strong demand, particularly in streaming. He said the company views its streaming presence and legacy linear holdings as complementary.

TelevisaUnivision will hold its annual upfront presentation for ad buyers in New York on May 16.

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