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Frndly TV launches on Samsung smart TVs

Frndly TV's electronic program guide makes it easy to find channels and content to watch.
Frndly TV’s electronic program guide makes it easy to find channels and content to watch. (Image via Frndly TV app, Graphic by The Desk)

Budget-conscious streaming service Frndly TV debuted on Samsung’s line of Tizen-powered smart TVs this week.

The move puts Frndly TV in front of more streaming television users, and offers a native way to access the service’s 40-plus entertainment and movie channels without needing a separate streaming device.

“The launch of our app on Samsung Smart TVs, known for their superior quality and innovation, not only amplifies our reach but also enhances the Frndly TV viewing experience and our commitment to providing diverse and accessible content,” Andy Karofsky, the CEO of Frndly TV, said in a statement.

It marks the second time this year that Frndly TV has launched on a native smart TV platform. In April, the service became available to users of Vizio’s smart TVs powered by its Platform Plus operating system.

Related: Get it or Skip it? A review of Frndly TV

Getting streaming apps in front of smart TV users has become an incredibly important mission for Frndly TV and some of its competitors over the last few years. Data from Leichtman Research shows around 55 percent of American streamers had a connected TV device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV stick in their homes, while 64 percent had access to a TV with a smart operating system built right in. (The numbers don’t add up to 100 percent because some households have both.)

Increasingly, more Americans are choosing to stream content from their smart TV’s built-in platform than buy a separate dongle. In February, executives at Roku affirmed this was pretty much the case when they said more streamers were opting to buy Roku-powered TV sets over the company’s line of standalone sticks and pucks, which connect to any TV with an HDMI port.

Samsung has more than 32 percent of the global market share of smart television sets, according to data released earlier this year by the analytics firm Omdia. It is one of the largest TV brands in the United States as well, competing for space in the living room against comparable brands like LG, Vizio and TCL.

As Samsung maintains its domestic dominance, streaming services are increasingly looking to integrate with that platform while maintaining their apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and other devices. Last year, Frndly TV competitor Philo launched an app for Samsung smart TVs, marking the first time the service was available outside of a separate streaming device.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).