Samsung has reportedly started serving ads on the menu screens of its internet-connected Smart TVs, and there doesn't seem to be any opt-out possibility.
Making a service available for free in exchange for getting ads is reasonable and a common practice, but pushing ads on a smart TV that's already paid for is a whole other thing.
Intrusive Ads On Samsung Smart TVs
Nevertheless, that's exactly what Samsung is doing with its smart TVs. As AdAge reports, Samsung released an update earlier this month that forces users to watch ads displayed on the smart menu if they want to keep using the smart TV features.
The ads are reportedly not obtrusive at first, appearing at the bottom of the screen. When highlighted, however, they can take up as much as three-fourths of the screen, AdAge points out.
No Real Opt-Out
According to the report, the only way to get rid of the unwanted ads on Samsung Smart TVs seems to be disconnecting from the internet altogether. That hardly seems like a desired solution, though, considering that going offline means missing out on the smart TV features and online streaming from services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and others.
Netflix recently added an offline viewing option allowing users to download shows and movies for offline viewing, which may make things easier for disgruntled Samsung smart TV owners annoyed by these ads, but Samsung's practice still seems abusive.
As expected, consumers are raging about this update that pushes ads, especially since there's no option to fully disable the ads other than disconnecting from the internet. Users flocked to Reddit, and a growing thread unsurprisingly reveals that most consumers find this to be a deal-breaker.
"If I'm getting intrusive ads that are frustrating, that's a worse experience than other brands. I paid a lot of money for my KS9500 and DO NOT want ads," writes one user.
"Personally, I would NEVER buy a TV that inserts ads into my media. That would be 100% a deal breaker for me no matter how good the other features, price, picture quality, etc. were, so I would definitely want that highlighted in a review," writes another.
Another user points out that going offline or resorting to external devices just to get rid of ads and enjoy features that should be part of the experience of the TV they already paid for is not acceptable, especially since Samsung was not upfront about this.
If Samsung had mentioned that its smart TVs would display ads whenever they're connected to the internet, there's a good chance that many TV shoppers would've settled for a different brand.
"If that is the deal that Samsung wishes us to make they should be clear up front that the smart features advertised require ads to be shown on the TV in order to function," a Reddit user points out.
It remains to be seen how things will pan out for Samsung, but the company clearly struck a nerve, and this forced advertising practice is making its smart TVs less desirable.
Would you buy a Samsung smart TV knowing that it displays ads? Let us know in the comments section below.