Samsung TV Plus unveils Halloween-themed FAST channel

Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service, continues to build up its content by adding six new channels to its lineup.

A notable addition is the Samsung-owned and operated Halloween Movies channel, streaming 24-7 horror movies like “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Exorcist III,” “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” and other titles.

Other new channels include Midsomer Murders, featuring episodes from the long-running British mystery series; the American drag racing focused NHRA TV; Grit XTRA, geared towards the western genre; and ION Mystery, which showcases procedural crime dramas like “NCIS: New Orleans” and the “CSI” franchise.

Also new this month are three WeatherNation local news channels, where viewers can get live weather updates along with regional coverage. Those channels are WN Charlotte, WN Portland and WN St. Louis.

Samsung TV Plus’ total channel count now stands at over 220, with the service available in 24 countries across 465 million Samsung devices – including smart TVs and mobile devices.

These new channels come as smart TV OEMs like Samsung beef up their FAST content. Amazon’s Fire TV announced Tuesday it added thousands of hours of free ad-supported content, including sports highlights from MLB, NBC and Fox. LG Channels in September unveiled a slate of new FAST channels – including one centered on NFL content.

Samsung TV Plus just relaunched with a fresh new logo, as it doubles down on building up premium content with partners. Sang Kim, SVP of product and marketing at Samsung, told Fierce Video in August that Samsung is strengthening partnerships with A+E Networks, The E.W. Scripps Company and BBC Studios.

Kim added Samsung TV Plus is expanding national and local news options, as that’s what FAST viewers seem to be looking for.

Smart TV OEMs are well-positioned to make moves in the FAST space, TVREV analyst Alan Wolk pointed out in a September column, because not only do OEMs own the hardware and software but they also have automatic content recognition (ACR) data at their disposal.

“As the FASTs continue to add users, they will get better, more high profile content along with better, more personalized interfaces,” Wolk wrote, adding cable networks are also gravitating towards FASTs to generate more eyeballs.

Vizio, for instance, recently boasted it has the largest ACR dataset in the market. Its FAST service WatchFree+ ranks as the second most popular free app – just behind YouTube – on Vizio’s SmartCast streaming platform.

Samsung is also bolstering smart TV user interaction with shoppable TV. Last month it launched a QVC+ and HSN+ combined shoppable streaming app, through which viewers can make purchases while browsing live and on-demand video options.