LG announced tonight that the company’s webOS smart TV platform will soon be found on other brands of televisions. RCA, Ayonz and Konka are some of the companies that have already signed up. “This has the potential to reshape the TV business for both technology and content providers while significantly increasing LG’s presence and awareness in the global home entertainment market,” LG said in a press release.
The news comes after LG reveals a significantly revised version of webOS at CES in January. On LG’s 2021 TVs, the flip-up “Blades” interface has been completely eliminated in favor of a more traditional scrolling home screen. I’ve seen a wide range of opinions from LG’s existing TV customers. Some like the new look as it resembles a streaming device and seems easier to use. Others, who have come to appreciate the more colorful and “fun” webOS, hope that LG will keep webOS 6 off their TVs in 2020 and earlier. I still need some time with the software before I can weigh myself.
Buyers of licensed webOS televisions don’t have to think about this redesign – at least not yet. LG tells me that the platform “powered by webOS TV” is based on webOS 5.0. So it will look just like LG TVs from the last few years.
By licensing its platform to other TV brands, LG is following in the footsteps of Roku and Amazon, who have each partnered with third parties to bring out Roku TVs and Fire TV Edition TVs, respectively. LG Says Its Partners Are Going Out Of Business:
WebOS TV licensees receive the familiar and highly acclaimed UX design as well as a variety of features such as voice search and control, built-in AI algorithms, and simple connectivity that have received positive industry and consumer awards for webOS. LG webOS TV also gives partners a wide range of content options, including access to global streaming service apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and the sports streaming service DAZN as well as LG Channels, the free premium content streaming Company service. The compatible TV models also include the special Magic Motion remote control.
What’s in it for LG? The company will have control of the TV software experience on more devices – and generate more advertising revenue too. By expanding webOS to include other televisions, the advertising-financed LG channels are being brought to the fore. This approach also gives LG more user data to make improvements to webOS, which in turn benefits the company’s own TV lineup.