As more and more consumers gravitate towards streaming services, TVs are evolving into the device of choice for those who desire larger, higher-quality screens, more immersive gaming experiences and at-home exercise functionalities, among other features. These days, Smart TVs are particularly in the spotlight given that users can enjoy a whole array of different content on them with just an Internet connection.
Samsung Electronics unveiled its first Samsung Smart TV in 2011. In 2015, the company introduced its Tizen OS and has continued making progress in this field with a view to provide users with differentiated services. But how exactly has Samsung adapted to recent changes in the way people are consuming content? What efforts have been made to advance Samsung Smart TVs into becoming better platforms? Samsung Newsroom spoke to Seline Sangsook Han, Vice President of Service Business Team, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, to learn more.
Q. Recently, a growing number of consumers have been putting more value on user experience instead of TV price or design when purchasing TVs. What is driving this change in purchase trends?
In the past, a user’s media experience came just from watching the broadcast programs provided by their set-top box or TV tuner. Under these conditions, the resolution of the TV’s screen and the way it matched the space it was placed in was the top priority for those purchasing TVs.
However nowadays, the way we consume media content is diversifying and the content itself is becoming richer and more varied. As such, users are now prioritizing their own unique experiences and considering how their devices fit into their own individual tastes and environments. On top of this, TVs are evolving into smart devices, meaning that the scope of their experience offering is expanding. All of these factors are driving the current change in trends.
Q. Are industry insiders noting an experience-centric user trend?
Samsung Electronics started to provide smart TVs in 2011 and emerged as the industry leader. However, back then, users were less involved with the smart TV trend and there were few partners active in the market. These days, smart TVs are becoming increasingly important, and Samsung’s Smart TV has become a pivotal partner. Trend analysis shows us that, today, people are enjoying binge-watching shows more than they are watching shows in real-time. According to our internal research, people are spending more time watching Over-the-top (OTT) content on Samsung Smart TVs than they are watching live content. U.S. users subscribe to an average of three OTT services, demonstrating that smart TV markets are on the rise globally.
Q. How is the Samsung Smart TV adapting to these changing trends?
Samsung is committed to keeping up with changing trends and the Samsung Smart TV has gone through extensive research for better user experiences. One of our top priorities has been figuring out how to provide users with the best possible experience of finding and enjoying the content they want to consume.
Samsung offers a content forwarding discovery service called Universal Guide to help consumers make choices easily by recommending content tailored to individual user preferences. In addition, Samsung TV Plus is available for users to enjoy a variety of channels on – news, entertainment, movies, TV shows and more. This is a free TV service, with no strings attached.
On top of this, users can also appreciate leading art works on their TV via the Art Store of lifestyle TV The Frame and enjoy indoor workouts through Samsung Health, a functionality that was released this year. These services particularly benefit those who have experienced unexpected changes in their day-to-day lives this year and are thus finding themselves staying at home more.
Q. What does it take to make a great TV platform?
Nobody can make a great platform while working alone. When we appreciate what an ecosystem means, a great platform can emerge.
From the perspective of partners, high quality technologies and user convenience should be ensured. Furthermore, for the sake of a platform’s users, enriching and useful content and user convenience are essential features, as these factors are what drive an engaging user experience. Samsung, as a platform provider, needs to create a viable marketplace with which to build a mutually beneficial business model in order to drive continued investment and partner growth and ultimately improve user satisfaction. At the end of the day, relentless efforts driving strategies tailored to one’s platform is what can bear fruit.
Q. What makes the Samsung Smart TV unique in terms of its platform?
The Samsung Smart TV was created as a television device. Over the past 14 years, Samsung has been ranked number one in the TV industry, and during these years, Samsung has continued to build its leadership across the markets as well as cultivated a robust user base. As a service platform, the Samsung Smart TV was not a leader at all in the beginning. Thanks to Samsung’s market leadership and product offering as a TV manufacturer, we have been able to reach users around the world, and this user base helped the company attract partners. Considering that TVs are a home necessity and play a pivotal role in consumers’ media consumption, the Samsung Smart TV has an unbeatable position and capabilities in terms of product manufacturing and supply, user experience design and ecosystem operation based on its own platform.
These days, fewer people are watching TV in programs real-time, but are still tending to consume other types of media content on their TVs. Many consumers choose bigger and higher quality TVs in order to enjoy more immersive watching experiences. Today, TVs are more than just viewing screens. TVs have seen their uses expanded into the fields of workout, productivity, entertainment and home Internet of Things (IoT). Samsung’s Smart TVs are becoming an integral part of their users’ daily lives, displaying the product’s boundless potential as a platform.
Q. The 2018 Samsung Smart TV was presented as a device capable of supporting various activities, while the 2019 Samsung Smart TV was defined as a provider of customized services for any and all user preferences. How would you define the 2020 Samsung Smart TV?
The 2020 Samsung Smart TV prioritizes delivering a next-generation screen experience to users. This year’s Samsung Smart TV enables users to harness new services, a range of partner applications and Samsung TV Plus in order to bring the content they want right in front of them easily and quickly. What defines the 2020 Samsung Smart TV is the facilitation of services like Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant for easy access to such areas as art, fitness and gaming features across such applications as Samsung Health and Art Store.
Q. Can you share one useful tip for Samsung Smart TV users?
I prefer to pick the content I want to watch and enjoy it whenever I find it convenient to. I make good use of both Korean and international OTT services, as well as Samsung TV Plus, from Friday night through to the following morning and have developed my own TV guide packed full of exactly the content I want to enjoy. While streaming, I am also able to get my laundry done, as my Smart TV will let me know when my machine’s cycle is complete so that I don’t forget to take my laundry out of the machine.
I also want to recommend the Art Store of The Frame, one of Samsung’s lifestyle TVs, as this lets you curate artworks that not only match your tastes, but also your mood or even the weather – a small luxury I very much appreciate in my home.
Q. With the advancement of technologies, things we have previously only imagined are increasingly becoming a reality. Would you share how you think the Samsung Smart TV will evolve in the long term?
The Smart TV I dream of is one with a constraint-free experience, whatever and whenever you want to do. This means a literally seamless experience when watching, playing or working with screens, controlling your devices and connecting to the world, for each and every consumer, regardless of their situation. I believe that this is the beauty of the technologies and innovations that Samsung can do better than any other.