Samsung smart TV owners may soon get an unpleasant surprise, as the company is reportedly gearing up to push more interactive ads.
As a reminder, Samsung kicked off this initiative in the United States last year, when it started spamming the menu bars of its smart TVs with interactive tile ads. It now looks like Samsung is planning to expand this initiative to Europe as well, likely in a bid to bank more cash out of its television business.
As The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports, this will not only apply to new high-end smart TVs, but to existing ones as well. The company reportedly plans to retroactively push such ads to older smart TVs through software updates, so it could reach the models that already found their homes.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the WSJ notes that Samsung's TV business has been struggling and this new scheme aims to pull more revenue sources. According to one of the sources, Samsung is using agencies, as well as its advertising sales team in New York, for this push.
EVP Lee Won-jin, who previously worked at Google before joining Samsung back in early 2014, is reportedly spearheading this initiative.
"Mr. Lee oversees Samsung's partnerships with companies like Netflix Inc., from which Samsung collects a share of the revenue generated by streaming video through its TVs," adds the WSJ, citing one of its sources.
Expanding this advertising scheme beyond the United States and into Europe is Samsung's latest attempt to move past just hardware sales.
Pushing ads to TVs that have already been purchased is a slippery slope that may anger many device owners, but it's not an entirely new practice. PC makers have been pulling such schemes for ages, although it's a bit hostile.
It remains to be seen whether this ad push will make the Samsung's TV business more profitable in time, or whether it will alienate customers in the long run. In the meantime, if you own a Samsung Smart TV and you'd rather not have any tile ads pushing through, you might want to pay more attention to what the next software update brings to the table.