Samsung Flirts With IPTV

Bloomberg reports that Samsung is seeking to enter the online TV world, in an attempt to compete with traditional broadcasters. People familiar with the matter said that Samsung has asked media companies how much they would charge to carry their TV networks in a bundle of channels, distributed via IPTV. It is possible that the offer could be launched worldwide.

Analyst Comment

This is very similar to Apple’s long-rumoured but ill-fated entrance into the TV market. Like its main rival, it is likely that Samsung will find the barriers to entry too high. This is because content providers want companies to carry all of their channels – not just the most popular – making deals hard and/or expensive to sign. (TA)

I gave the keynote address for Panasonic when it introduced its VieraCast concept to the European press in 2009. At that time, I suggested that the end game of the move to SmartTV was to change the relationship between set makers and their customers to one where there was a direct contact and a service relationship over the life of the set. It seems that, 7 years later, the set makers may now feel that they have enough ‘critical mass’ to deliver mass audiences. As I pointed out at the time, if a set maker (like Samsung) has, for example, 20% of the world market for TVs, they should be able to deliver a huge audience to content providers – many more viewers than broadcasters in any single country can do and potentially the same order of magnitude threat as Netflix or Amazon, which are also not restricted by traditional broadcasting geography. (BR)