Samsung’s Tizen OS dominates global smart TV market

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Tizen, followed by LG’s WebOS, are still the biggest smart TV operating systems globally. (Samsung Electronics)

Global sales of smart TVs are rising and accounting for most of the sets being sold. According to Strategy Analytics, odds are good that consumers buying smart TVs will pick one up that runs Samsung’s Tizen OS.

The research firm said that worldwide smart TV sales totaled 157 million units in 2018, representing 67% of all TVs sold during the year. Approximately 1 in 5 smart TVs sold today run on the Tizen platform while 1 in 10 run on the Google managed Android TV system.

Roku TV only accounted for 4% of global TV sales in 2018 but the company’s story in North America was much different, where nearly one in every four smart TVs sold last year ran the Roku TV OS.

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David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics, said that TV OEMs continue to pursue the market even though margins are slim, because smart TVs provide ample targeted advertising revenue opportunities.

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“Control over the smart TV operating system is therefore of critical importance as it is through this software layer that companies can extract the valuable user data that drives targeted ad revenues,” said Watkins. “It is for this reason that Google, Roku and Amazon are battling to persuade TV makers to build their TV software platforms into their sets rather than go through the expensive and time consuming process of building and maintaining their own operating systems.”

Strategy Analytics chart
(Strategy Analytics)

Watkins said that while Tizen, followed by LG’s WebOS, are still the biggest smart TV operating systems globally, Google’s Android TV and Roku TV have made strong gains in the U.S. in recent years by building on their partnerships with second and third tier TV makers.

“Samsung will therefore be hoping that its recently announced exclusive arrangement with Apple to integrate the iTunes app into its smart TVs will give it something that these other fast growing platforms cannot match,” Watkins said.

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