Samsung’s Video Streaming Service Raises More Questions Than it Answers

Samsung’s Video Streaming Service Raises More Questions Than it Answers

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CES is just round the corner and I’ve got about a hundred emails all talking about how cool some new product is. Everything from a digital cooking thermometer and iPhone App (why someone would ever need that is beyond me) to real, freakin’ robots! But this one I got today sort of caught my attention for ReelSEO readers, it’s mgMedia and Samsung Movies Spain, a four screen (mobile, TV, PC and tablet) streaming video service. OK, so technically a tablet is a PC but it’s somewhere between a PC and a mobile in that some of them have features of both and so some classify them as a new screen, sure, let’s run with that for today.

So Apple fanboys rave about how cool it is to watch a video on their iPhone and with a press of a button send it to their AppleTV. They forget that Google TV can also do this from an Android handset (as demonstrated in the original Google TV unveiling). Now that’s all fine and cool. But Samsung has gone a step further. Not only do they actually make all of the screens but they now have a service that is one login and can stream to all of those devices. You can even pause the video you’re watching on your tablet and when you get home turn on your Samsung Internet-connected TV and pick up right from where you left off.

The content is shared across all of the compatible devices which is exactly what many of us want. In fact, since I was pondering getting an Android tablet, new TV and an Android smartphone, this could be the deciding factor for me, if it were available in my area.

The service already has content from major studios like Paramount as well as many independent film studios like Aurum, Selecta Visión, La Central Digital, DeAPlaneta, Filmax, and Zinkia.

Prices are fairly reasonable as well ranging from 0,99 € to 3,99 €. You can even use PayPal for purchases which is truly brilliant and they say they’re planning on including more, in Europe that probably means services like PaySec. I imagine that part of the problem will be that pretty much every country in the EU has a different main payment service. Many of us also use standard bank transfers which I imagine is also an option.

Jerónimo Macanás, mgMEDIA CEO said,

“230 million users worldwide will have Internet-connected devices by 2013, and those users will be able to enjoy movies, TV shows and other TV content as they never did before. Needless to say, this is the beginning of a new era in digital content consumption, where users may get what they want from their sofas, just by pressing their remote, at reasonable prices and without being tied to traditional IPTV services.”

Macanás stated that “this is what consumers were waiting for, and finally they have it within reach thanks to Samsung and mgMEDIA.”

All I can say is, HELL YEAH Jerónimo! This is exactly what I was personally waiting for and it seems that Samsung knew what they were doing here. Since they have their hands in just about everything with a screen and an Internet connection I have to imagine that this is the culmination of a long-term plan.

I have long been talking about how there are numerous places that we need to have accounts so that we can get all of our content on all of our devices.  Sure, Apple has iTunes and that works on just about everything from mobiles to big screens provided you buy an extra piece of equipment. But I don’t like iTunes personally. Mostly because of its god awful performance on the PC and the fact that you need to have a TV and an AppleTV device and that there’s no streaming, it’s all content download.

Since I was already considering a Samsung Tab and a Galaxy phone, I might as well consider a Samsung TV also.  Now mgMedia is going to be at CES, and Mark and I are going to be at CES, so hopefully we can all get together and talk about this and get some further information, like plans on when it will expand its offering to a region near you.

Now, I can see this fragmenting the industry where every manufacturer will have their own service and if you have say an HTC phone, Samsung TV, Playstation 3, and a Mac you might need multiple different services, again defeating the purpose which is to have one simple place to get everything.

Sony is already offering a streaming music subscription service that will stream tunes to their gear, you can already buy video on the PS3, I can see this trend continuing. I would still prefer a device/manufacturer/hardware agnostic solution like Netflix because I don’t know that I will ever put all my eggs in one basket and buy all my gear from one maker. Unless that maker really wows me with their stuff (or gives me some of it for review purposes heh).

Now it looks like the industry is going from having multiple services based on content creator to multiple services based on hardware. The question is, when will they all learn that having the one service for everyone is going to be the key.

Let’s look to the past in Radio and TV. No matter what brand of equipment you had in the past, you were able to get all of the content on it, regardless of who made it.  Life was good. You didn’t have to worry whether or not your gear would work with your content.

Now we’re going in the total reverse direction, content is becoming gear specific because of the service offering it. That just can’t survive as a business model. There might be 230 million people with connected devices by 2013, but only maybe 5% will have all of that gear from one manufacturer meaning  you’re seriously limiting the audience your service is intended for.

Wow, I can’t believe I used TV as a positive example, after all the stuff they’ve been doing wrong lately, I forgot that way back when, they actually did something right. What we need, really, is a service on Internet that acts like cable. You pay one service and get all the content there. Some content is premium and requires an add-on (like say, HBO). Better yet, since most cable companies also have broadband, they should just make the service. Of course then you’ll run into the problem where you go to visit a friend and can’t access your content because they have a different cable provider.

Alright, that would be pretty lame come to think of it. Let’s go back to that totally agnostic service idea, that one will work best I think.


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