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Why Samsung is pushing Tizen across the smart TV ecosystem

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Photo: Samsung.

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by Tim Mulligan

Yesterday the world’s largest smart-TV manufacturer by market share announced partnerships with international original development manufacturing (ODM) companies to license its smart-TV operating system, Tizen. The deal also for the first time enables the distribution of Samsung TV Plus (Samsung’s free ad-supported streaming TV app) onto third-party smart TVs. This will expand Samsung TV Plus into Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States later in 2022.

FAST+ smart TVs represent the mainstreaming of non-subscription video

With over 50+ percent penetration of smart-TV ownership in Q2 2022 (Source: MIDiA Research), smart TVs are poised to evolve beyond their “dumb” TV original purchasing dynamics (being bought by consumers simply as new high-spec TVs). This is because consumers have effectively bought devices that will morph into home entertainment hubs as consumers start embracing the app functionality available on smart-TV operating systems. When this happens, the TV experience will become a truly smart-TV experience, creating a platform for app-based video-on-demand (VOD) consumption. However, the transformation goes much deeper, as the app-based functionality enables cross-entertainment consumption driven by app engagement and integrated smart device functionality. Music streaming services will sync with smart speakers, while gamers stream cloud-based games through a gamer-optimised smart TV. Under this scenario, the TV returns to the forefront of the home entertainment ecosystem – a digitally empowered entertainment hub for the digital entertainment era.

FASTs are a crucial part of this hub strategy as they bring the traditional mainstream TV viewer into the smart-TV experience. Following a similar dynamic to the trojan horse analogy, a FAST app familiarises smart-TV consumption and opens up mainstream consumers to the TV+ offering through the new home entertainment paradigm shift of smart-TV adoption.

Samsung is in pole position, yet the wider market opportunity remains wide open

Yesterday’s Tizen announcement followed June’s announcement of the Xbox Games Pass partnership – where the Microsoft-owned games subsidiary announced access to its app-based games catalogue for existing subscribers via Samsung smart-TVs and subscriptions – free cloud-based game access to Fortnite for Samsung TV owners. In an increasingly crowded smart-TV marketplace, Samsung gets it. The future of TV will be post-linear and increasingly post-video as media fusion increasingly blurs the line between previously distinct media verticals, particularly as older, higher-spending consumers move to upsend towards consolidating devices via emerging smart-TV-enabled device experiences and functions.

The future of home entertainment has just moved a little bit closer.

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