Beginning with the launch of the Milk music streaming service, Samsung is preparing to build a brand new video service. Samsung is currently hiring engineers to build this service for them. They recently hired an executive from Vdio, a video service which was taking on Netflix but had to shut down last year.
Samsung’s has been looking for suitable engineers for the past two months. Samsung’s Media Solutions Center posted a job offer last week with the following description.
“Over the past several years technologies such as broadband, the web, and mobile devices have fundamentally changed the way we discover, consume, and enjoy television. At Samsung we want to leverage our dominant position in the consumer electronics market to surprise and delight our customers with innovative new viewing experiences. We are looking for an established technical leader to help us assemble a world class client and server engineering team to help us to realize this vision. (…) In the role of Video Service Client Developer, this individual will join a small cross functional team developing Samsung’s next generation video service.”
They were also looking for a lead engineer for the video service whose job requirements included “experience delivering mobile service” and proficiency in “developing client applications on Android or iOS.” The job requirements do not include the ability to make smart TV apps. Which means that the job position is probably meant for Samsung’s mobile device business and not for Samsung’s smart TVs.
Samsung hired Scott Barrow, who also worked as the SVP of Operations for 3 years at Vdio. This Rdio-owned streaming video service once took on Netflix with a subscription offering in the U.K. and the U.S. Vdio ended up not reaching expectations and had to close down late last year. Rdio’s former CEO wants to combine Vdio with Rdio and launch a new media service which would use subscription packages and he wants to do that before he leaves Rdio.
— Scott Barrow (@scottwbarrow) May 16, 2014
The status on his Linkedin profile shows that he is doing “something new” at Samsung, not revealing his role in the project. Although he did mention Kevin Swint in his tweet. Kevin Swint is the guy who ran Apple’s iTunes video business for about five years. He recently joined Samsung as VP Content & Services which also points in the same direction that Samsung is preparing to build its own video service. Swint is another important part of Samsung’s new project. Samsung has said to have released a few mid level management personnel after buying Swint last year.
Samsung used to only keep its services running as long as the hardware related to that service was surpassed by the next. When the next generation came, services for the old devices would fade away. This device-lifecycle mentality seems to be giving way to a different strategy. Samsung launched a new music service called Milk in March. This service was meant to take on Pandora. It was also meant to take the place of Samsung’s Music Hub service. Music Hub was to compete with Apple’s iTunes as a pay-per-song service.
As of now we don’t really know what Samsung’s new video service will really look like. It might try to take on Netflix or take the safer route like Sony did with its ad-supported video service Crackle. The company doesn’t seem to be sharing its plans just yet, but it looks like Samsung might replace Video Hub with the new video service. Already in the process of being phased out, Video Hub is not installed on the Galaxy S5 either. Whatever comes of this the result should be interesting.