You’ve heard about ad-supported TV broadcasts, now get ready for ad-supported TV screens. Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin has officially unveiled the new startup Telly, which plans to eventually give away millions of free TVs that constantly show viewers ads.
The Telly TV features a 55-inch 4k HDR flagship screen, complete with nifty features like microphones, HD camera, LED mood lighting, and a motion sensor for interactive games. Users can set it up with the operating system of their choice — be it Roku, Fire TV, or even old-school cable — as the rotation of ads and a sponsored news ticker appear on a separate screen at the bottom.
Buzyn said during last week’s demonstration (via Hollywood Reporter). “Companies make billions of dollars from ads that run on TVs, yet consumers have historically had to pay for both TV and the content they watch. That’s all changing today. When I co-founded Pluto TV, we created an entirely new model that delivered great TV content to viewers for free Now, with Telly, we’re giving away actual TV for free, too.”
Telly TV is “not budget TV by any means,” Posen insisted, and that he would go traditionally for $1,000. In addition to the ads, Telly will make use of viewer data; As Pozin explained, customers will receive their TVs in exchange for information such as their household demographics.
“We know who you are, we know where you live, we know your income, we know what because you drive, and we know when your lease ends,” Posen said. “We know what your favorite brands are. We know your favorite sports teams are, so when you first bring home your TV, you scan a QR code with your phone, and all the data is already there.”
Other popular smart TVs like Roku, Amazon Fire, and Google Chromecast have their prices cut to near zero thanks to a similar tactic of selling user data to advertisers; Some marketers even predicted years ago that the free TV model would be “inevitable.” The future is now, we suppose.