How Samsung’s New Smart Hub Will Transform Connected TV Advertising

Vincent Flood 08 January, 2013 

Samsung Smart Hub CES 2013Samsung made some announcements at CES 2013 that are going to have huge implications for connected TV advertising. The Korean tech giant is still by far the largest player in the connected TV market, but up until now its Smart Hub connected TV platform has sat on the sidelines. However, Samsung has beefed up the user interface (UI) and introduced a number of new features, placing connected TV at the very heart of the TV experience. Connected TV advertising finally looks set to deliver.

The Smart Hub user interaface will be the first thing you see when you turn on the TV

This is no tweak – it’s a hugely significant and highly disruptive move by Samsung. Firstly, the issue of people not connected their TVs or using the connected functionality is drawing to a close. Before, you had to make a conscious effort to press the Smart Hub button to take you through to the connected TV user interface, which wasn’t the most exciting of destinations once you got there. But now the new slick user interface will be the first thing Samsung TV owners see, regardless of what set-top box, games console or OTT service is plugged in.

So suddenly Samsung will have access of huge amounts of premium connected TV inventory. And all at a moment when the user’s full attention is close to guaranteed (although if the ads are self-initiated it’ll be guaranteed anyway).

TV apps will also be pushed to the fore and are going to enjoy considerably more traffic than they have in the past, which will be welcome news to developers and the ad networks with access to that inventory.


Samsung will also be able to have the first opportunity to sell users content and services, but those sales won’t be confined to the UI. Samsung have partnered with Delivery Agent on T-Commerce, so users will be able to buy products featured in the programmes they’re watching. So, for example, a user will be able to buy a piece ofclothing worn by an actor in New Girl (Samsung managed to resist using ‘Jennifer Anniston’s jumper as an example, heretofore the industry standard). So Samsung TV users will see in-show bugs (i.e. it’ll look like there’s a little bug in the corner fo the screen) notifying them that this option exists – or users can go to the app marketplace and acces the “Shop the Shows” app.

According to a Delivery Agent statement:

“Built by Delivery Agent, this T-commerce shopping platform taps into Delivery Agent’s proprietary database of products mapped to television content – from established partners including 20th Century Fox Consumer Products and SHOWTIME® amongst more than 350 media brands – in order to present the right products at the right time. The new application allows fans to easily shop within the programs they are watching and is planning to launch in 2013.”

The ‘S-Recommendation’ Feature = Personalised Data for Advertising 

Samsung’s ‘S-Recommendation’ feature gives time-specific, personalised recommendations for TV content. So if you usually watch Champions League football on Wednesdays, there should be a panel on your TV recommending that show on a Wednesday evening. Although Samsung haven’t said as much, it seems highly likely that in time we’ll ‘sponsored recommendations’, where broadcasters can advertise to similar demographics as those watching their shows, which could be a lucrative revenue generator for Samsung.

Also, in building out recommended content, Samsung will need to build profiles of individual users. These data sets will be valuable to brands seeking out data-driven advertising on the living room screen. And as AdHub’s video inventory is expected to be available programmatically, this will also be welcome news for buy-side online programmatic players who will have a large additional pool of high quality inventory.

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