Samsung recently launched a web version of its free Smart TV Plus streaming service, and with ad support for live and linear programming, as well as additional streaming support for Chromecast devices. The streaming product, which was previously limited to Samsung TV and mobile devices, was launched as a web service in the second quarter, ‘Protocol’ reported on Friday.
It’s a new player in the streaming war and released with seemingly little fanfare, but the release makes the application that was once limited to Samsung users, and now widely available to almost anyone.
Even people without Samsung devices can now enjoy its ad-supported streaming service. According to Protocol, the technology giant launched in May the TV Plus – something that was available exclusively on the brand’s TVs and laptops – for the web.
It was probably a soft release, as the publication called it, as Samsung hasn’t formally announced its web version and hasn’t yet included it in any marketing material for the streaming service. While there was no fuss over the expansion of TV Plus on the web, a company official confirmed to Protocol that Samsung actually launched a web version of the service in the second quarter.
Samsung did not immediately comment on the Friday launch. However, a spokesperson confirmed the launch of the web version of the service. Samsung TV Plus has been around for years – it’s been available on Samsung smart TVs since 2016 – but launching to additional devices outside the streaming ecosystem puts it more directly in competition with ad-supported streaming services like Peacock, Roku Channel or any other linear programming like Pluto TV or Plex.
While it’s not clear why the company appears to have decided to launch the web version of its streaming service now, Samsung appears to be exploring ways to bring TV Plus to a wider audience. The choice is always great and you can’t beat the free price (especially if you can stand watching the ads).
Samsung launched TV Plus in 2016 and has since evolved into its current form with free ad support, similar to cable. It is accessible in 23 countries and, in the United States, gives viewers access to 140 channels that include ABC News Live and Vice. Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics, Sang Kim, told Protocol that the company streams “billions of minutes every month”, and so is clearly very popular with users.
Its reach has been limited to Samsung customers so far, however, it remains to be seen whether the availability of the web version could add a substantial number of new users to the service.