Samsung Electronics is updating its free TV streaming app Samsung TV Plus, introducing enhancements to the user interface that should simplify content discovery, in addition to improved video-on-demand capabilities.
The update is being rolled out now in 24 countries globally, including the U.K. and U.S., and will help to make it easier for users to find something to watch across the more than 2,500 channels offered by the streaming platform.
Samsung TV Plus is one of the most widely-watched free TV services, pre-installed in every new Samsung TV that’s sold to consumers. It’s also available on other Samsung devices, including its smartphones and tablets. The big draw of Samsung TV Plus is that all of its content is free to watch, with no subscription required. The only drawback is that viewers must be willing to tolerate the occasional ad. The service competes other ad-supported free TV apps such as LG Channels, The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Plex, Tubi, Peacock and Freevee. Over the past couple of years, Samsung has added a constant stream of fresh content to the service.
In today’s update, Samsung is rolling out a redesigned home screen experience that enables viewers to access a quick overview of the content available on each channel. It also introduces sections for popular channels and content, and the user’s recently watched content.
In the UI, users will find new categories in the left hand column, including sections such as Live TV, Movies/TV Shows, Music, Kids and Settings. Samsiung promised that there will be a wide range of content that’s discoverable in each category.
There are also some new region-specific tabs being made available to users based on their location. These have reportedly been tailored to the content catalogue offered by Samsung TV Plus in each region. For instance, in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand there’s a new Music tab, while in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India and Mexico, users will see a new Kids tab. Finally in India there’s a new News tab with multilingual support, the South Korean company said.
In addition, the update brings larger UI elements that are designed to improve the browsing experience, Samsung said. They will help users to navigate through a constantly-growing library of TV channels more easily. Users will also have the ability to login to their Samsung account and access their previously saved favourite channels from an easy-to-find location within the channel guide.
Video-on-Demand (VOD) services can now be accessed directly from the channel guide too, enabling instant playback for select programs. With this, users don’t need to worry about tuning in at the exact time one of their favourite shows is broadcast, but can instead watch the latest episodes at a time that’s more convenient.
Finally, there’s a new More Like This section, which provides content recommendations based on what the user has just watched.
Yonghoon Choi, executive vice president of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, said there has been a 60% increase in global viewing time on Samsung TV Plus. “[This is] a testament to the platform’s expansive content library and user-friendly design,” Choi said. “We will continue to evolve and enhance our services to provide a more intuitive and enjoyable viewing experience for our users.”