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Samsung to license Tizen OS to third-party TV makers

A Samsung television set. (Photo courtesy Samsung Electronics, Graphic by The Desk)

Samsung Electronics says it will allow third-party companies to use a version of its Tizen OS smart TV operating system.

The South Korean electronics company will license Tizen OS to TV makers who ship units in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the company announced in a press release on Monday.

Partners that will include Tizen OS in upcoming TV sets include RCA, Bauhn, Linsar, Vispera and Sunny, with sets shipping later this year, Samsung said.

“These partnerships give many TV brands access to a whole world of entertainment that Samsung Smart TVs exclusively provide, while also allowing Tizen to leverage its ever-expanding ecosystem to strengthen its offerings. Key features that the users of the licensed TV brands will gain access to include,” a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement.

The move will further solidify Samsung’s dominance in the global smart TV market. Around 200 million TV sets are powered by some flavor of Tizen OS, Samsung says, with sets sold in over 190 countries. The company primarily competes with South Korean electronics maker LG, whose WebOS currently holds second place in the global smart TV space.

Third-party companies will get access to a slew of Samsung technology as part of the Tizen OS integration, including the company’s free, ad-supported TV service Samsung TV Plus and Samsung’s smart assistant Bixby.

The partnership comes on the heels of Tizen OS’ 10th anniversary, Samsung noted. The company developed Tizen OS in partnership with the Linux Foundation in 2012.

“Starting with these new Tizen-powered smart TVs, we will continue to expand the licensing program and introduce Tizen OS and its ecosystem to more products and brands around the world,” Yongjae Kim, the executive vice president of Samsung’s visual display business, said in a statement on Monday.

Samsung’s Tizen OS supports a number of global third-party applications, including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus.

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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).