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.

Enterprise

How I decided to leave the US and pursue a tech career in Europe

Melissa Di Donato moved to Europe to broaden her technology experience with a different market perspective. She planned to stay two years. Seventeen years later, she remains in London as CEO of Suse.

“It was a hard go for me in the beginning. I was entering inside of a company that had been very traditional in a sense.”

Photo: Suse

Click banner image for more How I decided seriesA native New Yorker, Melissa Di Donato made a life-changing decision back in 2005 when she packed up for Europe to further her career in technology. Then with IBM, she made London her new home base.

Today, Di Donato is CEO of Germany’s Suse, now a 30-year-old, open-source enterprise software company that specializes in Linux operating systems, container management, storage, and edge computing. As the company’s first female leader, she has led Suse through the coronavirus pandemic, a 2021 IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the acquisitions of Kubernetes management startup Rancher Labs and container security company NeuVector.

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.

Sponsored Content

Great products are built on strong patents

Experts say robust intellectual property protection is essential to ensure the long-term R&D required to innovate and maintain America's technology leadership.

Every great tech product that you rely on each day, from the smartphone in your pocket to your music streaming service and navigational system in the car, shares one important thing: part of its innovative design is protected by intellectual property (IP) laws.

From 5G to artificial intelligence, IP protection offers a powerful incentive for researchers to create ground-breaking products, and governmental leaders say its protection is an essential part of maintaining US technology leadership. To quote Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: "intellectual property protection is vital for American innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Keep Reading Show less
James Daly
James Daly has a deep knowledge of creating brand voice identity, including understanding various audiences and targeting messaging accordingly. He enjoys commissioning, editing, writing, and business development, particularly in launching new ventures and building passionate audiences. Daly has led teams large and small to multiple awards and quantifiable success through a strategy built on teamwork, passion, fact-checking, intelligence, analytics, and audience growth while meeting budget goals and production deadlines in fast-paced environments. Daly is the Editorial Director of 2030 Media and a contributor at Wired.
Enterprise

UiPath had a rocky few years. Rob Enslin wants to turn it around.

Protocol caught up with Enslin, named earlier this year as UiPath’s co-CEO, to discuss why he left Google Cloud, the untapped potential of robotic-process automation, and how he plans to lead alongside founder Daniel Dines.

Rob Enslin, UiPath's co-CEO, chats with Protocol about the company's future.

Photo: UiPath

UiPath has had a shaky history.

The company, which helps companies automate business processes, went public in 2021 at a valuation of more than $30 billion, but now the company’s market capitalization is only around $7 billion. To add insult to injury, UiPath laid off 5% of its staff in June and then lowered its full-year guidance for fiscal year 2023 just months later, tanking its stock by 15%.

Keep Reading Show less
Aisha Counts

Aisha Counts (@aishacounts) is a reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software. Formerly, she was a management consultant for EY. She's based in Los Angeles and can be reached at acounts@protocol.com.

Workplace

Figma CPO: We can do more with Adobe

Yuhki Yamashita thinks Figma might tackle video or 3D objects someday.

Figman CPO Yuhki Yamashita told Protocol about Adobe's acquisition of the company.

Photo: Figma

Figma CPO Yuhki Yamashita’s first design gig was at The Harvard Crimson, waiting for writers to file their stories so he could lay them out in Adobe InDesign. Given his interest in computer science, pursuing UX design became the clear move. He worked on Outlook at Microsoft, YouTube at Google, and user experience at Uber, where he was a very early user of Figma. In 2019, he became a VP of product at Figma; this past June, he became CPO.

“Design has been really near and dear to my heart, which is why when this opportunity came along to join Figma and rethink design, it was such an obvious opportunity,” Yamashita said.

Keep Reading Show less
Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at llawrence@protocol.com.

Climate

Microsoft lays out its climate advocacy goals

The tech giant has staked out exactly what kind of policies it will support to decarbonize the world and clean up the grid.

Microsoft published two briefs explaining what new climate policies it will advocate for.

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

The tech industry has no shortage of climate goals, but they’ll be very hard to achieve without the help of sound public policy.

Microsoft published two new briefs on Sept. 22 explaining what policies it will advocate for in the realm of reducing carbon and cleaning up the grid. With policymakers in the U.S. and around the world beginning to weigh more stringent climate policies (or in the U.S.’s case, any serious climate policies at all), the briefs will offer a measuring stick for whether Microsoft is living up to its ideals.

Keep Reading Show less
Brian Kahn

Brian ( @blkahn) is Protocol's climate editor. Previously, he was the managing editor and founding senior writer at Earther, Gizmodo's climate site, where he covered everything from the weather to Big Oil's influence on politics. He also reported for Climate Central and the Wall Street Journal. In the even more distant past, he led sleigh rides to visit a herd of 7,000 elk and boat tours on the deepest lake in the U.S.

Latest Stories
Bulletins