LG announced today that it will expand and provide access to its webOS SmartTV Platform to more than 20 TV manufacturers, including RCA, Ayonz and Konka with more partners expected to join in the future. According to LG, the webOS ecosystem is supported by technology partners such as Realtek, Nuance, Gracenote, CEVA and Universal Electronics, among many others.
This is a fantastic move by LG and is aimed at disrupting the OS market for SmartTVs. Considering that the reigning operating systems for SmartTVs are typically Android, Samsung’s Tizen platform, and LG’s webOS platform, this can be seen as a move by LG to strategically place itself as a direct competition to Android.
From the perspective of an OTT Service Provider, LG’s move to license and provide its webOS platform to other TV manufacturer is a step towards reducing the headache of building and maintaining apps for different Smart TV platforms.
Typically, any popular OTT service provider will need to build apps for HTML5, Android, iOS, tvOS, Roku, ChromeCast, Amazon FireTV, and smartTV platforms such as Tizen and webOS and this translates into a lot of time spent building, updating, and maintaining OTT apps.
So fewer the platforms, the better it is from the OTT service provider’s perspective.
With LG’s latest move, a fragmented market might see some consolidation. With Android sitting happy as a preferred Smart TV platform, and Samsung Tizen doing really well in the market, this is a good move by LG to get a share of the SmartTV OS market.
On the other side (TV manufacturers), the licensees of the webOS technology will receive support from a behemoth such as LG, as well as pre-built apps and support from an ecosystem that plays well with webOS. Sounds like a good situation to be in!
In their press release, LG says –
With LG webOS TV, partners also get a diversity of content options including access to global streaming service apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and sports streaming service DAZN as well as LG Channels, the company’s free premium content streaming service.* Compatible TV models also include the dedicated Magic Motion remote controller.LG’s Press Release
In the Press Release, Park Hyoung-sei, President of the LG Home Entertainment Company has the following to say –
“The webOS platform is one of the easiest and most convenient way to access millions of hours of movies and TV shows,” said Park Hyoung-sei, president of the LG Home Entertainment Company. “By welcoming other manufacturers to join the webOS TV ecosystem, we are embarking on a new path that allows many new TV owners to experience the same great UX and features that are available on LG TVs. We look forward to bringing these new customers into the incredible world of webOS TV.”