Samsung halts sales on Video and Media Hub, will discontinue service
Smart TV maker Samsung has halted sales and rentals on its Video and Media Hub, and will discontinue the movie and TV show service on August 1, a final step in its ongoing move to shut down electronic services including music and e-book sales. Customers who already purchased videos or music through its Hub will be able to transfer their content to M-Go.
Variety reports that the manufacturer on July 1 halted all sales and rentals of videos through the storefront. It also completely shut down its music service on Tuesday.
The one-month delay in completely shuttering its video service, the company said in a notice on its website, is so that customers who recently rented videos will be able to access those videos for the entire 30-day rental period.
Samsung's Hub competed directly with other services like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Instant Video, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iTunes and Redbox Instant. It was available to customers who own a Samsung smart TV or mobile device.
The agreement with M-Go may help ease the sting for Samsung customers. Transferring their accounts to M-Go will net them a $5 credit and half off their next two movie rentals.
For Samsung smart TV owners, M-Go was already available, along with other popular streaming apps like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Hulu Plus and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube. Customers who downloaded content from the Hub will be able to use its video player until the end of the year.
Former Samsung executive Richard Bullwinkle, who left his post as head of U.S. TV innovation in early June, said on a BroadbandTVcon panel covered by FierceCable that the smart TV industry is suffering. A lack of content apps, slow loading times, and a slow development cycle all plague the segment.
"Is it in trouble? Yes. Is it fatal? No," he said.
Bullwinkle, who left Samsung on good terms, told FierceOnlineVideo in a 2013 interview that the company was very interested in getting great content and apps onto its smart TV, and was encouraging developers to build apps. "The really hard part is, 'How do I get that app in front of my customers and find new ways to get people using those apps?' Both Samsung and developers are working on that problem."
The manufacturer apparently is still holding out hope for video on demand or some other video-related success, saying in a notice on its website that it is focusing "on some exciting new video products."
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