Samsung continues to make efforts to license key proprietary software and entertainment components from its Smart TV system to third-party gadget makers.
The Korean electronics company has reportedly recently been in talks with China’s TCL about licensing the Samsung TV Plus FAST service for publication on TCL Groups.
Veteran media technology reporter Janko Ruettgers first broke the news in his new newsletter, low pass (Opens in a new tab). Neither Samsung nor TCL has confirmed or commented on these reported discussions.
Samsung announced in October (Opens in a new tab) It will begin licensing TVOS, Tizen, to third-party smart TV original development manufacturers Atmaca, HKC, and Tempo. And Samsung has begun licensing Tizen to mobile phone makers (Opens in a new tab) And other non-smart TVs two years ago. Rutgers Next TV LinkedIn shared on Friday that discussions with TCL and other third-party TV makers are separate and only include Samsung TV Plus’ free, ad-supported streaming service.
Samsung TV Plus was launched in 2015 and has more than 200 channels (Opens in a new tab) in the US market. It now distributes about 1,800 channels in 24 countries. According to Roettgers, the number of active users has reached 17.4 million, which isn’t a small audience, but it’s much smaller than the 70-plus million active user bases enjoyed by FASTs competitors like Roku and Pluto TV.
As Rutgers also points out, the core of Samsung TV Plus’ strategy has been to roll out exclusive channels, such as “The Movie Hub,” “Kitchen Nightmares,” and “Samsung Wild Life.” Originally, he said, Samsung tried to interest third-party set-makers by licensing only its exclusive channels, but got nothing out of it with that. Thus, Samsung is trying to fully license the TV Plus service.
Samsung remains the world’s largest seller of smart TVs, moving 42 million units in 2021 alone, according to research firm Omdia.
Placing many of its flagship branded products in living rooms globally paves the way for Samsung to sell the same customers a wide range of appliances and other home electronics.
But the quick ad business is showing some kind of promise, in and of itself, that justifies its expansion away from Samsung’s hardware footprint for the sake of growth.
According to the latest FAST data provided by research firm TVREV, FAST will soon overtake cable and broadcast in revenue. And by 2027, they will generate $69 billion of America’s total $101 billion television advertising budget.
As for TCL, it burst onto the North American scene as a smart TV maker about four years ago with cheap Roku-powered sets that undercut Samsung and its Korean CE associate LG.
But TCL has recently shown its willingness to license third-party operating systems and other software from many places. TCL said at CES 2022 that it has shipped 10 million devices globally running Android TV and Google TV, for example. ■