The idea that brands can be content producers and publishers is no longer a new one.

But, after perhaps 15 years in which marketers have done that, ow times are changing, according to an executive who is watching them change their strategy.

“The conversations that I’m having with partners and different industry people is that they really are changing how they look at content distribution, as well as how to leverage advertising based content and distribution and monetization on connected TVs,” says Sang Kim, VP of product at Samsung Ads.

Kim says brands grumble that the TV ecosystem is “really fragmented”.

“For content partners or advertisers to reach their audience, they have to reach out to multiple platforms,” he says. “And to go global really, there are not many options other than to reach out to many, many different platform partners.”

Launched back in 2015 as “Samsung Smart TV Advertising”, Samsung Ads, a unit inside the giant Korean electronics manufacturer, tracks what audiences are watching on Samsung Smart TV screens, in order to provide targeting data to marketers.

The business unit is able to understand actual viewing, whether it be linear or OTT, by running automated content recognition (ACR) on Samsung Smart TVs, to identify content that is actually being consumed.

Now it claims to have 60% of the consumers visible via industry-deployed ACR technology, whether they ware watching live TV, VOD or playing a console game – in all, around 220 million connected devices.

Samsung launched its own Samsung TV Plus, its own gateway to over-IP TV services on its smart TV sets, which now numbers more than 90 free channels