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Samsung is adding clickbait ads to the TVs we already own

first_imgSamsung is the world’s largest TV maker by shipments, but profits are hard to come by in this increasingly competitive space. That’s why Samsung had been toying with inserting ads into the TVs people already have, and apparently it likes the results. After trialing the new ads in the US, The Wall Street Journal reports it’s expanding the ads to Europe in the coming months. You can expect this to be a standard feature on Samsung’s smart TVs before long.The ads come in the form of tiles across the main menu bar of its smart TV interface. They are mostly links to video content that you can rent or purchase via the various services integrated with the TV. These are interactive ads that encourage the user to select them — clickbait on your TV, basically. The tiles appear near video apps like Netflix and Hulu, but it’s not always clear they’re ads. Samsung is recommending this content because it was paid to do so. Samsung has a history of explaining things poorly. Remember the TV voice command incident?Samsung is raking in cash when it comes to markets like smartphones and NAND flash chips, but TVs are getting harder to sell. Samsung’s TVs make up 20% of the total market, but its profit margin is only 3-5%. To compound matters, demand for new TVs is dropping as people decide their 1080p sets are just fine. Samsung and other manufacturers are pushing 4K TVs hard, but the dearth of content in 4K has given many consumers little reason to upgrade.European regulators might take issue with Samsung rolling these ads out to existing TVs, so the company will have some convincing to do. This all seems like a risky anti-consumer strategy when there are so many cheaper TV brands out there that compare favorably to Samsung. Amazon gets away with showing ads on its mobile devices because they’re cheap, and it actually offers a discount for the “with special offers” devices. Samsung wants to cram ads into something for which you already paid full price.last_img read more

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