Samsung recently launched a web version of its free and ad-supported Smart TV Plus streaming service for live and linear programming as well as added casting support for Chromecast devices.
The streaming product, which was previously limited to Samsung TV and mobile devices, launched as a web service in the second quarter, Protocol reported Friday. It’s a curious new player in the streaming wars and launched with seemingly little fanfare, but the rollout makes an app that was previously limited to Samsung users now widely available to just about anyone.
Samsung did not have immediate comment about the launch when reached on Friday. However, a spokesperson confirmed the launch of the web version of the service to Protocol.
Samsung TV Plus has been around for years — it’s been available on Samsung smart TVs since 2016 — but the rollout to additional devices outside of the streaming ecosystem places it more directly in competition with ad-supported streaming services like Peacock, the Roku Channel, or any number of linear-programming freebies like Pluto TV or Plex.
While it’s unclear why the company seems to have decided to soft launch the web version of its streaming service now, Samsung appears to be exploring ways to bring TV Plus to a larger audience. Choice is always great and you can’t beat the price of free (particularly if you can stand to sit through ads), but if Samsung’s ambitions are to dominate the linear streaming space, it’s a bit late to the party.