Samsung Launching Live News Streaming App for Mobile Devices

Samsung is launching a branded news app aimed at giving Galaxy consumers portable access to myriad third-party news organizations.

Launching in beta, Samsung News will be rolled out in the United States to Galaxy device users as an update to Samsung Free. Users who already have the “Free” app on their device will see the icon change to Samsung News starting April 18, when their apps are updated. All other users will be able to access the app by downloading it directly from the Samsung Galaxy Store. At first the feature will be available on select phones, and in the coming weeks, it will roll out to all addressable devices.

The app will initially provide access to news content from a range of partners, including Bloomberg Media, CNN, Fortune, Fox News, Glamour, GQ, HuffPost, Money, Newsweek, The New York Post, Parade, Politico, Refinery29, Salon, Slate, Sports Illustrated, The Daily Beast, TheStreet, USA Today and Vice. Additional news sources will be added to the app over time through Samsung’s syndication partner, upday.

“We created [the app] to deliver breaking and premium news to Galaxy users in an easy to access format. Our goal is to support users by letting them curate their ideal news experience,” Avner Ronen, VP of product development at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement.

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Samsung News offers users three ways to find news within the app:

  • Daily Briefings: Delivered twice a day (Morning Briefing and Evening Briefing), on the briefings Samsung is working with a team of experienced news editors to bring users the top headlines of the day in one place.
  • News Feeds: Users can view a feed of news from Samsung’s partners, categorized and organized for easy access, and in the “Following” tab users can update their preferences to customize the news they see.
  • Podcasts: Users can listen to news and entertainment podcasts directly within the Samsung News app.

 

“Syndication and strategic partnerships are how we ensure our content reaches far beyond the HuffPost footprint,” said editor-in-chief Danielle Belton.

Caroline Harris, VP of partnerships at Gannett (parent of USA Today), said reaching users on their mobile devices is key.

“Expanding our reach with breaking news and impactful journalism across Samsung’s network further advances our mission to reach millions of readers where they are — on their mobile phones,” Harris said in a statement.

Winter Holiday Tablet Sales Return to Growth

Sales of detachable tablets (convertible laptops with keyboard), including iPad and Galaxy, increased 10.3% to 6.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the previous-year period, according to new data from IDC.

Tablet sales for the year increased 1.6%, which trailed significantly from 24% growth in 2016.

IDC attributed slowness to the launch cycle of high profile devices like Microsoft’s new Surface, which was off schedule, leaving older Surface models on shelves as consumers waited to see the upgrades.

Meanwhile, slate tablets (without keyboards) shipped 43.1 million units in Q4, and 141.7 million for the year – down about 7.6% from 2016. The report suggested sales have remained relatively steady as consumers increasingly use slate tablets to consume media, including over-the-top video and SVOD.

Top tablet vendors include (in order), Apple with 24.3% market share and 0.6% annual growth and Amazon Fire Tablet with whopping 50.3% growth and 9.6% market share. Samsung ranked third with 14.9% market share (13% sales decline), Huawei (5.9% market share, 11.9% growth) and Lenovo (6.6% market share, 13.1% sales decline.

“Continued success of [the tablet category] hinges on the willingness of other PC vendors to participate and more importantly, consumers from other countries to adopt the [detachable tablets] over convertible PCs,” Jitesh Urbani, senior research analyst with IDC, said in a statement.