Samsung Holds "Free the TV Developer Day" to Promote Development for its Connected-TV Platform
Samsung Electronics held its first "Free the TV Developer Day" at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Tuesday. According to the company, the event was designed to bring together "notable leaders across the connected-TV ecosystem"; help developers better understand its Samsung Apps connected-TV platform (and its SDK), which it says is now available in around 120 countries; and support its "Free the TV Challenge" (see the article published on itvt.com, August 12th), a contest which it says will award $500,000 in prizes and is designed to encourage development of innovative interactive TV applications for the Samsung Apps platform. Samsung--which says that it plans to spend $70 million this year on marketing its connected-TV apps--claims that activation of Samsung Apps on its TV sets and Blu-ray products is now at over 50%.
According to Samsung, the "Free the TV" developer event and app development contest are part of a global roll-out of developer-focused events and contests that it hopes will "open up TV's to developers wanting to distribute their content on the biggest screen in the home and on an easy-to-use platform." The company launched a similar contest in Korea earlier this year and plans to launch one in Europe later this year: new interactive TV applications generated by the Korean contest include a "multi-language Fairy Tale Book" and a karaoke app, the company says. In order to entice developers to its apps platform (in addition to holding contests and events), Samsung allows them to specify in which countries and on which devices their apps will be available, to set their own price, and to keep 70% of the revenues their apps generate. While Samsung Apps, which launched in January (note: the company previously relied on the Yahoo! Widget platform, apps from which are still available through its connected-TV devices), currently offers close to 90 apps, the company expects that its outreach efforts will help grow that number to 200 by the end of the year.
In related news:
- Samsung announced at the Free the TV Developer Day that its new Android-based Galaxy S smartphone will allow users to control apps on its connected TV's via its touchscreen interface.
- The company has launched an "Explore 3D" app that allows owners of its 3D-enabled TV sets to access 3D trailers and other 3D content.