Google TV Expands Offerings with Over 800 Free Ad-Supported Channels and a Redesigned Live Tab
Google TV is expanding its offerings with the addition of free built-in channels that can be accessed without downloading or launching an app. The company claims that with the new sources, it now offers access to over 800 free ad-supported channels through its Live tab, making it the smart TV platform with the most free channels available. The channels will include content in Spanish, Hindi, and Japanese, expanding the platform's international offerings. The free channels come from services such as Tubi, Plex, and Haystack News and are integrated directly into the Live tab alongside the existing lineup of channels from Pluto TV. In the upcoming weeks, the US will witness the commencement of the new channels.
The move is part of Google TV's efforts to compete with other free streaming services, such as Pluto TV and Xumo, by offering a larger selection of content. The statement also indicates the rise in cord-cutting and the surging preference for streaming services as the primary means of entertainment.
In addition to the new free channels, Google TV is introducing a redesigned Live tab that will make it easier for users to browse through the various channels without having to jump around from app to app. Additionally, individuals can create a customized experience by favoriting their preferred channels and exploring suggested content. A new TV guide promises to turn the Live tab into the primary place to find content, including over-the-air channels that require a premium subscription to view.
The latest Live tab encounter is set to be introduced gradually to Chromecast equipment with Google TV and television sets with built-in Google TV. Later this year, compatible Android TV sets/devices will also be able to have the experience. The Live tab on Google TV has been revamped and more free channels have been added. These features can be accessed on Chromecast and all Google TV-enabled TVs from Sony, TCL, Hisense, and Philips in the United States. Later this year, the company intends to introduce these modifications to Android TVs that are compatible and expand into additional markets.
With the increasing number of streaming services and their ever-growing cost, free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels offer an alternative for users who may not want to pay near-cable prices for on-demand streaming services. Given that Roku devices and Fire TV sets already provide these features, it comes as no shock that Google intends to enhance its platform by providing users with simple access to complimentary content.
The move by Google TV to aggregate several existing free TV services like Fox's Tubi, Paramount Global's Pluto TV, and Haystack News is part of its efforts to differentiate its streaming operating interface from competitors, including Roku. With this expansion, Google TV is closing the gap on Roku's TVOS dominance in the US, as well as the hegemony enjoyed internationally by Samsung Tizen.
In conclusion, Google TV's latest move integrates a few streaming services to provide viewers with tons of free channels to choose from. It reflects the growing trend towards cord-cutting and the increasing popularity of streaming services as a primary source of entertainment. The addition of free channels and a redesigned Live tab will make it easier for users to browse through the various channels without having to jump around from app to app. Furthermore, the move puts increased competitive pressure on Roku and other smart TV platforms.
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