Samsung TV Plus, the app with hundreds of free channels, could make its way to other non-Samsung TVs. That’s according to media technology reporter Janko Roettgers, who writes in his piece A low way newsletter that Samsung is in talks to bring its streaming app to TCL TVs.
Introduced in 2015, Samsung TV Plus is a free ad-supported (FAST) streaming service that comes pre-installed on newer Samsung TVs. The service allows viewers to browse through a collection of channels, just as you would with a traditional TV service.
Samsung TV Plus has a pretty strong slate of content for a free app, with Samsung adding popular shows like Top Gear, Law & Order Special Victims Unit, NCISand Chicago Fire Last August. It also offers a range of local and national news channels, as well as Samsung-made channels such as Ride or Drive and The Movie Hub. TV Plus currently has around 1,600 channels spread over 24 different countries, along with 220 channels in the US.
Samsung seems to want to make its TV Plus service a free floating app
While the company is mulling the idea of licensing individual channels to other TV makers, a source tells Roettgers that “these talks don’t seem to have gone anywhere.” Because of that, Samsung has shifted gears to offer the full TV Plus app to third-party manufacturers. Over the years, Samsung has been expanding the reach of TV Plus, and has made the service available on Galaxy devices, on the web, and even on select Family Hub refrigerator models.
Other TV manufacturers, including TCL, LG, and Vizio, have their own free streaming apps, which also compete with services not tied to specific TVs, including Paramount’s Pluto TV, NBC’s Peacock, Fox’s Tubi, Roku, and Amazon Freevee . It looks like Samsung is looking to make its TV Plus service a free-to-play app as well, but it’s unclear whether other manufacturers will want the app on their TVs — or whether the app would succeed even.
As Roettgers points out, “the success of FAST services is closely linked to the level of promotion they receive at the platform level,” such as its inclusion in the TV interface, or as a button on the remote control. The Corr reached out to Samsung for comment but did not immediately hear back.
In August, Samsung said TV Plus had seen 100 percent growth in consumer viewing over the past year, with viewers streaming 3 billion hours worldwide. Meanwhile, a report from Deadline it attests to the growth of the FAST market as a whole, as outlet data obtained from S&P Market Intelligence shows that the US FAST market was expected to bring in about $4 billion in revenue last year, and could reach nearly $9 billion by 2026.
Although I don’t own a Samsung TV, I have to say that I enjoy the variety of free content that I get to surf through on LG Channels. For me, it’s much less daunting to flick through channels and finally settle on what I want to see, rather than browsing through the hundreds of shows lined up in front of me on Netflix or Hulu.