Power

Samsung’s TV Plus is now streaming on the web — here’s why that’s a huge expansion

The company also just added Chromecast compatibility to the service's mobile app.

Person browsing Samsung TV Plus service on a TV

Samsung's TV Plus service streams basic cable-like programming for free to the company's TVs and phones.

Image: Samsung

Samsung is expanding its ad-supported streaming efforts: The company quietly launched its TV Plus streaming service on the web in recent weeks, and also added the ability to cast videos to devices supporting Google's Chromecast technology to its mobile app this month. Both represent a major expansion for TV Plus, which previously was only available on Samsung-made smart TVs and phones.

A Samsung spokesperson confirmed that the web version of TV Plus launched in Q2.

With its expansion to the web and other smart TV platforms, TV Plus is more directly competing with other free streaming services like Pluto TV and Tubi. The 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.

The web version of TV Plus appears to have soft-launched in May, but has not been publicly announced by Samsung yet and is not mentioned in Samsung's TV Plus-related marketing materials.

It gives viewers in the U.S. access to around 140 streaming channels, with its lineup including channels like ABC News Live, PBS Kids, ION Plus, Vice and a number of genre-specific Vevo channels. These channels can be accessed 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.

Samsung first launched TV Plus as a transactional streaming service in 2016, and subsequently shifted to an ad-supported model that mimics the look and feel of traditional cable. The service is tightly integrated into the programming guide of Samsung smart TVs, allowing viewers to channel surf broadcast networks and TV Plus programming.

That model has been a hit with consumers: "We stream billions of minutes every month," said Samsung Electronics SVP Sang Kim during a conversation with Protocol last September. The company has told advertisers that the service has been installed on close to 50 million smart TVs worldwide.

Since then, Samsung has brought the service to mobile phones with an app for its Galaxy devices, and also expanded its geographical reach. TV Plus is now available in 23 countries, including India, Brazil and Mexico, as well as much of Europe. Altogether, Samsung TV Plus is streaming more than 1,000 channels around the world.

Samsung isn't the only device maker targeting viewers on third-party devices: Roku first launched its Roku Channel streaming service on its own streaming boxes and Roku-powered TVs. Since then, the company has also launched a dedicated mobile app and a web app as well as apps on Samsung smart TVs and devices running Amazon's Fire TV platform. Recent job listings suggest that Roku may be looking to launch the channel on "other popular streaming media platforms" in the future.

Roku's business also shows why consumer electronics companies are willing to give up on exclusivity in favor of wider distribution for their content services. During the first three months of the year, the company's hardware business generated around $108 million in revenue. Advertising and other services brought in nearly $467 million during the same time frame.

Fintech

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

Keep Reading Show less
Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

Keep Reading Show less
FTA
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
Enterprise

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

Keep Reading Show less
Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

Keep Reading Show less
Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

Latest Stories
Bulletins