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Samsung Offers Users a ‘Better Experience’ With Growing FAST Channels

Photo from Babak Habibi on Unsplash

Samsung Offers Users a ‘Better Experience’ With Growing FAST Channels

By Movieguide® Contributor

Samsung is mainly known for developing televisions and other electronic devices, and while it tried to branch into entertainment, its efforts initially didn’t make much of a splash.

But in 2019, “Samsung made a 180-degree shift in its focus: The TV Plus homepage hub added a handful of streaming channels that were available to users for free with a tap of the remote control. Instead of asking consumers to open their wallets to pay for video-on-demand movies, Samsung was now encouraging viewers to plant themselves in front of the screen to surf through an array of free channel options,” Variety reported.

“It was a pretty crowded space,” Michael Scott, VP and head of sales and operations for the Samsung Ads division, said of the time. “We realized that our ability to serve the consumer was by providing more of a breadth of content than through transactions.”

“We really took our cue from the viewers and from the consumers,” he added, “of really understanding what they want. Once we saw that there was great appetite there — that our hours of viewing went up — we leaned in and started making some significant investments in partnerships and in content as well.”

Since then, Samsung pivoted once again and has become the number one place for FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) channels. The company has been including its Samsung TV Plus app on its smart TV’s since 2016.

“As an early player in the free ad-supported streaming TV space with unrivaled expertise across hardware, software and services at a truly global scale, Samsung TV Plus has become a top viewing destination for consumers around the globe,” said Won-Jin Lee, President and Head of the Service Business Team at Samsung Electronics, in 2022.

 

“We are thrilled to recognize the massive growth we’ve achieved so far across 24 countries and over 1,600 channels globally,” Lee added. “Samsung TV Plus’ new brand signifies our continued investment into the future of FAST.”

Now, Samsung is focusing on live events. “Last month, the company disclosed content licensing deals with the American Hockey League that will bring live hockey games to Samsung TV Plus’ FAST channel menu for the first time,” Variety revealed.

The company has also made deals with Major League Baseball, Formula One, PGA and MMA.

“There’s great content coming onto our platform, a better user experience, being able to watch the content you want, where you want to watch it and how you want to watch it,” Takashi Nakano, senior director of content for Samsung TV Plus, explained.

“Our deals vary across the board,” he added. “I look at FAST as the opportunity to bring content to millions of people that wouldn’t otherwise be feasible outside of putting it on YouTube.”

Movieguide® previously reported on FAST channels:

While the appeal of streaming when it first launched was the ability to watch shows you choose at any time, many consumers have grown weary of making that decision every time they open up a streaming service. This has led to the rise of FAST networks, which take this choice away, to viewers’ relief.

Over 1,500 FAST channels currently exist. However, experts believe the industry is on the verge of a bubble, and within the next year, that number will drop to under 1,000. This would be a positive for the industry as the ballooned number brings the burden of choice back into the equation. A 33% drop in the industry would actually help the industry by returning to a model that combats the problem it was originally created to resolve.


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