Samsung debuted its TV Plus streaming service on the Internet, with the ability to cast videos to devices that support Google’s Chromecast to its mobile app. Previously, TV Plus was only available on Samsung’s smart TVs and smartphones. The web-based TV Plus apparently had a soft launch in May but had not yet been publicly announced by the company. With this expansion, TV Plus has become a rival to other free streaming services such as Pluto TV and Tubi. U.S. consumers will have access to about 140 streaming channels.
Protocol reports that Samsung’s move “also further demonstrates how the TV business is changing from a sole focus on unit sales to one that is all about advertising and services revenues.” Among the channels that will be available in the U.S. are “ABC News Live, PBS Kids, ION Plus, Vice and a number of genre-specific Vevo channels.”
They will be accessible by “anyone, regardless of whether they own a Samsung device or not, but some channels do require users to sign in with a free Samsung account.”
TV Plus was initially introduced in 2016 as a transactional streaming service, and then switched to an ad-supported model, “tightly integrated into the programming guide of Samsung smart TVs.” “We stream billions of minutes every month,” said Samsung Electronics senior vice president Sang Kim.
According to Samsung, the TV Plus service has been installed on almost 50 million smart TVs worldwide. Samsung has expanded the service “to mobile phones with an app for its Galaxy devices,” and is streaming 1,000+ channels globally. TV Plus is “now available in 23 countries, including India, Brazil and Mexico, as well as much of Europe.”
Other device manufacturers have introduced similar products, such as Roku which “first launched its Roku Channel streaming service on its own streaming boxes and Roku-powered TVs … [and then] a dedicated mobile app and a web app as well as apps on Samsung smart TVs and devices running Amazon’s Fire TV platform.”
TechRadar reports that, with the web version of Samsung TV Plus, “anyone with access to a browser can check [it] out … and you can do so entirely free of charge” via a dedicated website, although “some channels will require you to sign in with a Samsung account.” Even so, it says, with “a litany of streaming services big and small available across the web and smart devices … Samsung could be a bit late to the party.”
Samsung TV Plus: the Free TV Streaming Service Explained, TechRadar, 7/12/21