Tele, a company started by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, announced Monday that it is offering 500,000 55-inch 4K TVs to the public for free, as part of a business model that In which advertisers have picked up the tab to upgrade the consumer’s entertainment.

At the heart of the model, which has been in the works for two years, is a dual-screen Smart TV developed by Tele. The One Screen is a 55-inch 4K HDR home theater television display, divided by a five-driver sound bar from the smaller Smart Screen. The Smart Screen displays information such as news, sports scores and weather, as well as advertisements, which are displayed continuously in a dedicated area on the right side of the Smart Screen.

In addition to TV programming, the hardware supports video calling, video games, AI-enabled voice assistants, music services, and motion-tracking fitness programs.

“Television is the greatest innovation in television since color,” Pozin said in a statement. “Tele is a revolutionary step for both consumers and advertisers.”

“For a long time,” she continued. “Consumers have not been equal parts of the advertising value exchange. Companies are earning billions of dollars from advertisements served on television, yet consumers have historically had to pay for both TV and the content they watch.

“That all changes today,” he said. “When I co-founded Pluto TV, we created an entirely new model that offered viewers amazing TV content for free. Now, with Telly, we are providing real television for free as well.”

consumer business

‘Tele will help streaming companies afford the content they need and want through an always-on advertising experience,’ said Elizabeth Parks, president and CEO of Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company in Edison, Texas.

“We forecast that the number of households using ad-supported streaming services will grow from approximately 37 million households in 2022 to 52 million in 2027, a compound annual growth rate of 6.7%,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Pozin estimates that TVs with the Tele’s specifications and capabilities are selling for US$1,000, although 4K TVs are selling for less. “Tele will be interesting for households that have limited budgets but are open to advertising,” said Brett Sappington, vice president at Interpret, a global consumer insights agency.

“Currently, users can buy an entry-level 55-inch, 4k smart TV for $300 to $400,” he told TechNewsWorld. “So, users will be considering the tradeoff of always-on advertising versus an advanced TV.”

Mark N., president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif. “Tele is one of the more intriguing attempts to address the market of users who are willing to trade up their data in exchange for free TV,” Vena said. ,

“It could be attractive to a non-trivial number of users willing to make that commitment, as the TV is a 55-inch HDR model, priced at $600.”

‘Giant Leap Forward’

Richard Greenfield, general partner at Lightshade Ventures, the firm that co-led Tele’s latest funding round, calls Tele “a giant leap forward, taking advantage of the explosion of the connected TV advertising market and consumers’ desire for more control and interactivity.” does not”. Disrupt the TV watching experience.

“The unprecedented dual-screen design enables advertisers to completely re-imagine the living room experience, while offering consumers an incredible TV at an easy-to-use-yes-free price,” he said in a statement. “

Tele Smart Screen displays news, sports scores and advertisements

The tele smart screen displays information such as news, sports scores and weather updates, as well as advertisements running in a dedicated area on its right. (Image credit: Telly)

Parks said free ad-supported content is potentially the next point of difference between streaming services and their hardware platform partners.

“We expect this will also pave the way for more interactive advertising experiences and TV-based commerce experiences,” she said. “Our data shows that 50% of US Internet households are concerned that T-commerce will disrupt the programs they are watching. Moving ads to another screen may provide more T-commerce opportunities.”

Increasingly, streaming providers are tapping into interactive ads, said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City.

“They send you to a destination or let you scan a QR code to send information to your cell phone,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Tele may open up some new opportunities that weren’t ripe in the past.”

Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore., however, cautions that advertisers need to be in sync with their audience’s sensibilities. “Ads will need to be something users don’t mind seeing,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Otherwise, they are likely to be creative in finding ways not to see it.”

“People don’t like advertising,” he said. “Just putting them on a dedicated screen doesn’t fix it. You also need to look at the ad content to see if you can come up with a format that doesn’t detract from the content the user is viewing.” Not there.

volume issue

Sappington explained that consumers like free things, but their commitment to them may not be as strong as they are to things they pay for. “Some consumers can simply exit their tel if they don’t like it or get tired of the commercials,” he added. “Others may try to make a quick buck by reselling it on Facebook Marketplace or elsewhere.”

He said that giving away hardware to make money is not a new thing. For example, mobile carriers have given away cheap smartphones in order to take advantage of mobile data plans.

“The key is being able to generate enough ongoing revenue to make it profitable,” he continued. “That said, an ad-supported television is certainly new. Controlling the entire screen is a powerful position that companies have been competing to win for years.”

Park agreed. “It’s definitely a new model,” she said. “Advertising revenue is a significant part of the revenue mix of smart TV and streaming media player makers, but the business model has so far required in-device purchases.”

Rubin recalled a company in the late 1990s called Free PC that tried to subsidize free computers with advertising along the perimeter of the computer’s display.

He said, ‘The issue has become big. “They couldn’t reach enough audiences to attract enough advertising revenue to make the business viable.”

“It’s going to be one of the biggest challenges here as well,” he continued. “Demand side will not be an issue. There are a lot of people willing to take a chance on something that is free.”

“The question is on the supply side,” he said. “Can they make a convincing case for advertisers about the quality of their audience knowledge being the kind of investment they need to sustain the business model?”

Consumers can reserve free TV on the Tele website.

Microsoft has announced a hands-on preview for commercial customers of its new Teams premium product designed to make meetings more personal, intelligent and secure.

The premium product includes many attractive features, such as:

  • Using artificial intelligence to provide live translation and intelligent recaps of meetings with autogenerated chapters and suggested action items and insights;
  • Advanced security with the use of watermarks, end-to-end encryption, and sensitivity labels to prevent copy and pasting of chat sessions;
  • Tools for creating and managing high-quality webinars;
  • Virtual Appointment Dashboard to control the end-to-end virtual appointment experience; And
  • Ability to expand company image in meetings by branding background.

“This is an opportunity for Microsoft to open up monetization opportunities beyond Microsoft 365,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City.

“You’ll get basic-level functionality, but more functionality at the higher price levels,” Rubin told TechNewsWorld.

Race for AI Solutions

The AI ​​feature does many things not done in meetings, such as providing outlines, notes and translations for their audience, said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore.

“I expect this AI component to be the defining difference between platforms in the future,” he told TechNewsworld. “Powerful conferencing solutions are racing to see who can provide the most powerful AI-based solution.”

Intelligent Recap holds a lot of promise for helping organizations get the most out of meetings, said JP Gounder, vice president and principal analyst at national market research company Forrester Research.

“Too often, follow-ups and action items are forgotten after the meeting,” Gounder told TechNewsWorld. “Those who missed the meeting struggle to find the value of the meeting.”

“Intelligent Recap promises to automate the process of extracting follow-ups, action items, and meeting content,” he continued. “It will take some time to learn from real-world meetings, but it promises to increase the value of meetings and connect them to business actions.”

more efficient meetings

In some ways, the new tools in Teams Premium make virtual meetings more efficient than in-person meetings, said Michael Inouye, a principal analyst at ABI Research, a global technology intelligence firm.

“By more efficient, I mean making access to information from previous meetings and follow-up more streamlined and easier,” Inoue told TechNewsWorld.

He clarified that in a face-to-face meeting, any work on the whiteboard may not be included in the meeting notes. Similarly, note-taking is often not shared among participants or may be specialized to an individual’s note-taking style.

“Creating chapters and tagging recorded meetings makes searching through the archives much more efficient,” he continued. “Instead of trying to remember the date of a particular meeting by checking your notes, you can search for a topic or other information of interest.”

“These tools can benefit in-person meetings as well, because those conversations can be recorded and processed in the same way, so it’s not exclusive to virtual,” he added.

Features Too Good for Paywall

New security features in Teams Premium have also drawn praise. Forrester analyst Will McCann-White said, “The security enhancements like copy/paste controls and E2E encryption for groups are all excellent.”

However, he questioned the limitation of features to a premium offering. “It’s strange that these are divided outside of the standard Teams platform,” he told TechNewsWorld.

McKeon-White was also commended for joining the Teams Premium webinar. “There is a great need for offering webinars from a competition point of view and this will help organizations further strengthen an offering,” he added.

While praising the product’s translation feature, he also lamented its limitations. “Live translation is going to be transformative for how organizations communicate,” he predicted. “It’s a shame to see this change inside the paywall.”

One feature of Teams Premium that is getting mixed reviews is its branding feature.

Mark N., president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif. “I think the branding-focused features are interesting and potentially different than what Zoom and Cisco’s solutions are offering,” Vena said.

“It appears that Microsoft is moving toward a more personalized experience with the premium version of Teams, which I think will be useful,” Vena told TechNewsWorld.

“The ability to create more customized experiences will be valued by some users, and I think the ability to add your brand will be valued by users who create video podcasts or conduct webinars,” he said.

ahead of time

While an interesting idea, the brand extension feature could be problematic, stressed Enderle. “Using a tool like this to push a brand requires marketing to have a direct say in the outcome, which isn’t the case here,” he added.

“It would be like providing a medical device without medical oversight,” he explained. “I don’t think you can do a brand feature without deeply involving marketing in the resulting process. That’s not the case here.

Inouye said that branding is usually not prioritized in virtual types of communication and collaboration. “Going forward, if virtual C&C becomes more widespread or more generally, I can see it becoming more valuable,” he added.

“It may be a little ahead of its time,” he continued. “No harm done, but it won’t be a significant selling point.”

Inoue said Teams Premium should help position Microsoft in the communications and collaboration market. However, he added, “it’s hard to say whether this will change the competitive landscape in a meaningful way, at least not yet.”

“Companies have reduced virtual events, which means a company may see less value from a more integrated solution,” he explained. “For a handful of events going with a third party can be as good an option as a more integrated solution.”

word of caution

Vena argued that Microsoft is playing catch-up in the video conferencing space as Zoom became the market leader during the pandemic, focusing on ease of use.

“But Zoom continues to face protests over security concerns, and Microsoft has a perceived advantage when it comes to protecting privacy,” he said. “This new solution should move the ball forward in increasing its appeal to Teams, especially with enterprise and SMB users.”

McCown-White said all of the enhancements are logical and add value to the Teams platform. “My biggest issue with Microsoft’s approach is they compartmentalized behind a paywall,” he said.

“Any time AI/ML features are divested outside of a platform, it provides an opening for competitors,” he said.

There’s a lot to like in this rollout, as Microsoft continues to evolve its AI to deliver more valuable features, noted Wayne Kurtzman, vice president of collaboration and communities research at IDC, a global market research company.

However, he cautioned: “Microsoft will need to add more benefits to maintain the premium value, as some of their competitors are likely to include some of these features in their core product. Regardless, feature innovation is likely to maintain a high velocity.