Samsung Ads Business Grows, With Higher Ad-Supported, Free Streaming Time Usage

Looking to push its advertising-supported, free streaming platform efforts, Samsung Ads says its TV set and device owners are spending more time with advertising-supported TV apps versus paid subscription services.

Although time spent was still behind paid-subscription services, the TV set-maker advertising selling unit says total time on ad-supported services on its platform is climbing -- now at 44% of streaming time spent, up from 41%.

Samsung claims the largest U.S. smart TV data set -- 60% of all ACR data, around 50 million smart TV sets. Its data set is proprietary, according to Tom Fochetta, vice president of sales, Samsung Ads.

A key part of Samsung Ads activity has been its growing Samsung TV Plus service, launched over a year ago. This smart TV service is automatically installed on Samsung smart TVs starting in 2019 (and is currently available for older models, starting in 2016).



It now has over 120 channels across news, sports, and entertainment, including CBSN, Vevo, and This Old House, Yahoo Finance, and Reelz.

Fochetta says Samsung TV Plus is the number two streaming service on its platform. 

With regard to the company's efforts around advertising inventory that Samsung Ads sells, Fochetta tells Television News Daily: “We help activate incremental reach for brand advertisers.” He adds that Samsung also licenses other ACR data. “Clients always want scale.” 

Fochetta says “COVID-19 has rocked this industry... During a global pandemic, there has been a flight to quality and a flight to safety. We saw a lot of activity, a lot of new clients coming into the fold and existing customers wanting guidance.”

In the first quarter of 2020, overall streaming represented 58% of all TV time spent -- with 42% for linear TV -- on the Samsung platform that uses its Automated Content Recognition technology, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, at 51% streaming and 49% for linear TV.

Samsung Ads says 75% of streamers, through its automatic content recognition (ACR) data set, are now watching ad-supported streaming services, as of the fourth quarter of 2019. This is up 25% over third-quarter levels. 

Justin Evans, global head of analytics & insights, Samsung Ads, says: “A lot of the change we are seeing in the linear TV landscape is change that was underway before the COVID-19 crisis. The COVID-19 has accelerated [this trend].”

Samsung defines streaming time as including activity on smart TV’s smart hub interfaces, connected media devices, and connected consoles.

Linear TV time is matched to ACR data. All data is based in the U.S. and is from Samsung devices that opted-in, and is encrypted and de-identified.

Samsung Ads says 26% of its audience makes up 86% of all linear TV time. Of the remaining 74% of its audience, 14% are watching linear TV and 84% are watching via streaming.

This story has been updated.
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