Samsung TV Plus Streaming Hub Could be Expanding to Third Party TVs
The user base of the free ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD)/free ad-supported TV (FAST) service Samsung TV Plus could see a major expansion soon.
Janko Roettgers of Low Pass reports that Samsung has been approaching competing TV manufacturers about the possibility of carrying Samsung TV Plus on their devices. Currently, the service is only available to Samsung Smart TV owners with models manufactured between 2016 and 2023, on web, or via Samsung mobile devices.
Roettgers states that Samsung’s conversations about expanding its audience for Samsung TV Plus have taken place with TLC, as well as other manufacturers. Samsung did not respond to his requests for comment, nor did TLC, but it’s telling that neither company replied with swift denials.
Since launching in 2015, Samsung TV Plus has grown to over 1800 global channels. U.S. customers have access to nearly 250 live TV channels on the service, as well as thousands of on-demand movies and TV series. Samsung TV Plus reaches around 17.4 million active TVs every month in the U.S.
The service has already gotten busy adding channels in 2023. In the first week of January, Samsung TV Plus announced it was adding new channels dedicated to “The Biggest Loser,” “The Walking Dead” and more. The service also saw multiple channel expansions in 2022, bringing on news content from NBCUniversal, and thrilling horror movies around Halloween.
The move to expand the TV Plus user base is a wise one from Samsung’s perspective. At least 60% of U.S. households watch FAST channels, and demand for them is continuing to rise. FAST services tend to become lucrative quickly for the media companies that operate them, due to their low overhead and the quick influx of advertiser dollars that accompany them. That ad money only grows faster when more viewers are watching.
One reason FAST channels are so successful among users is because of the “lean-back” experience they offer. FAST services mimic linear TV channels in that there are no demands from the user to play the next episode or pick another show to watch; that work is done automatically, so viewers can lean back and enjoy, or even do other activities while the TV plays. FX chairman John Landegraf recently estimated that 80% of total TV viewing is of the lean-back variety.
Even the biggest and most well-known streaming services like Netflix are considering the possibility of offering FAST channels in the future. Samsung TV Plus has the opportunity to get ahead in the game now, and join services like the Roku Channel by being available across a myriad of different TVs and streaming devices instead of only being accessible to owners of Samsung devices.