Samsung TV Plus Targets Premium Content in FAST Relaunch

Samsung Electronics America is refreshing Samsung TV Plus, a free ad-supported TV (FAST) and video on-demand service seen in 24 countries on 465 million TV and mobile devices. The main emphasis will be adding premium content that Samsung is looking to license from industry partners. Launched in 2015 as one of the first FAST services by a device manufacturer, Samsung TV Plus has nonetheless maintained a low profile, despite offering what is now more than 220 linear channels in the U.S., over 1,600 channels globally, and 50-plus O&Os spanning news, sports and entertainment.

The South Korea-based electronics giant is seeking to rebrand what it says is the most popular FAST service on Samsung Smart TVs. “In the last 12 months, Samsung TV Plus has seen massive 100 percent growth in consumer viewing, including nearly 3 billion hours streamed by highly engaged users across the globe,” Samsung explained in a news announcement.

“The relaunch is focused building up premium content with partners, and is rolling out alongside the revamped logo” across “smart TVs and Galaxy mobile devices (and even some smart refrigerators)” in all the places Samsung TV Plus is present, according to Fierce Video.

“We have seen the engagement numbers just go through the roof the past three or four years,” Samsung SVP of product and marketing Sang Kim told Fierce Video, adding that the company was surprised by the platform’s success, adding that response from viewers, advertisers and content partners “has been fairly overwhelming.”

While Kim didn’t talk dollars, he said Samsung will be making a significant investment in premium content, technology and staffing. The platform will, however, continue to be free, as Samsung sees it “increasingly serving as a comprehensive pay TV alternative” on Samsung TV and Galaxy devices. So users “can continue watching from every room,” the company also recently announced the availability of Samsung TV Plus on select Family Hub refrigerators.

Samsung TV Plus is launching a Ride or Drive auto enthusiast channel this fall on the 50 owned and operated stations. It will also be expanding existing relationships with A+E Networks, E.W. Scripps and BBC Studios. “That includes its offer of four BBC channels and crime dramas from Scripps Networks like ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Chicago Fire’ and more on ION,” per Fierce Video.

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