Samsung today announced the launch of Club Samsung 2.0, an app store for digital content. Astute readers might remember that back in 2013, Samsung had launched the Club Samsung for Galaxy Grand 2 Smartphone. The updated version comes with lots of enhancements and support for offline content.
The Club Samsung 2.0 will be offered on 14 devices initially, on September 30, but the service will extended to 33 other Samsung devices later. The new version now supports content in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Gujarati. It also offers live TV which currently supports 90 channels. This is the same amount of channels that the company supported in the earlier version, though Samsung claims that it will continuously update the list.
But why use Club Samsung when there are hundreds of other streaming services? For starters, it offers its content offline and for free, which can be easily transferred to other Samsung devices. Secondly, Samsung has tied up with Music composers Sajid-Wajid and plans to bring exclusive content on the platform. Tarun Malik, Director – Media Solution Center – South West Asia at Samsung, told TELECOMTALK that in coming months the company will allow users to submit their original content and will give a break to the artists through their platform. He also said that, in future, Samsung plans to bring more such music composers on board.
When asked about who the target audience is for the app, Malik said that it’s everyone and that India is a largely offline content consumer market. Outside of metro cities no one uses 3G (and thus makes the streaming apps largely useless). To think over it, it’s largely true – even in metro cities 3G is mostly used to consume WhatsApp updates and majority of the population consumes other heavy media content over Wi-Fi. In that sense, offering content offline makes sense.
But why is a hardware company getting into content or content distribution?
This is not the first time Samsung has tried to burn its hands with content distribution. It had launched MyServices, which offered music and videos, which it later shuttered down.
For Samsung, with the competition from local brands, it’s becoming difficult to differentiate itself from the crowd. In comparison, Samsung phones are cheaper nor do they offer anything that you would consider unique and ties users down to its platform. With these services, it’s hoping to tie down the user to its platform and it’s important to Samsung more than ever.