- Samsung has quietly made its free TV Plus service available on the web .
- You no longer need one of the company’s phones or TVs.
- The service now competes with Pluto TV, Tubi and other free-with-ads rivals.
You no longer have to buy a Samsung phone or TV to try the company’s Plus service. Both Protocol and Android Central note that Samsung made its free TV offering available on the web, letting you stream on virtually any device with a browser. The mobile app supports Chromecast streaming, too.
A Samsung spokesperson revealed that the tech giant quietly launched its web-based free TV in the second quarter of the year — it just didn’t advertise the expanded platform. It’s not clear why Samsung was quiet, but soft launches like this give companies a chance to refine a service without the usual pressure.
The current incarnation of TV Plus offers free access to about 140 streaming channels, including ABC News Live, PBS Kids and a host of specialty channels. You’ll need to sign into a Samsung account to watch some channels, but others have no strings attached. So long as you’re comfortable with ads, there aren’t any other conditions.
The move puts Samsung TV Plus into competition with other free services, including Pluto TV and Fox’s Tubi. It might also give you a reason to drift away from hardware-linked rivals like The Roku Channel. It’s not a surprising move in that regard. Streaming services often need large audiences to thrive, and the web version could help TV Plus grow. It’s also an acknowledgment that services help hardware sell — TV Plus might not make a lot of money by itself, but it could be a factor the next time you buy a gadget.