LG has bigger plans than just webOS: it wants a multimedia empire

LG webOS partner summit 2023

Smart TVs have just about become ubiquitous in households around the world. Every major TV brand has its own dedicated software you can use to watch your favourite shows and movies. LG seems to want to take it even further than its webOS platform, with a vision of becoming a “media and entertainment platform company” beyond just that of a home appliance manufacturer.

That’s the word out of the webOS Partner Summit 2023, a new event held by LG to discuss its upcoming plans. Given that the webOS platform is already on a reported 200 million LG TVs around the world, in addition to more than 300 third-party TV brands, the South Korean company already has a fair chunk of the market. Locally, Samsung also has a notable footprint in the TV software market, with its Tizen platform used by the likes of Bauhn, an affordable TV brand stocked by Aldi.

Not only does LG want to expand webOS to more third-party TVs, but it also wants to continue its push into vehicle infotainment systems, projectors, and digital signage. That’s a lot of screens.

The company is putting its money where its mouth is, too. Over the next five years, LG plans to spend more than $1.1 billion just on its webOS business. Its aim is to deliver more content as part of its software platform.

To that effect, the company also announced LG Channels 3.0, a new version of its free streaming service. It’s due to roll out starting in October, with a new UI sorted into Home, Live, and On Demand pages.

It makes sense for LG to continue its software push, given that its TVs are excellent but not necessarily in everyone’s price range. Even if a third-party TV doesn’t offer the same panel quality, LG can still get a slice of the pie by licencing its software to other manufacturers.

In recent months, we’ve reviewed both the LG C3 OLED TV and the premium G3 OLED model, which are fabulous displays that run on the improved webOS 23 software. If the company’s plans are anything to go by, expect to see its content ecosystem spread even further.

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