Telly: “Who wants a free television?”
Me: “Me! Oh, wait. Is it a teeny tiny screen? Must be small or a poor screen to make it free. And there must be a charge somewhere…”
Telly: “No, it’s not teeny tiny. It’s a 55-inch 4K television! And it’s free!”
Me: “Wow. Then me! I want a free TV!”
Telly: “Great. There’s just one catch though. You also have to install a separate second display underneath that constantly displays ads and other information. That means all the time.”
Me: “Hmmm….I’ll think about it.”
While the above isn’t an actual conversation, it could be. And yes, a company named Telly is giving away 500,000 units of a 55-inch 4K televisions with a second screen. The second screen is located beneath the large screen and can show advertising, sports scores, and stock quotes based on a survey of the viewer’s information and interests. Telly is also equipped with a soundbar that includes a microphone and motion-tracking camera, and voice assistant.
Telly starts with a survey gathering personal information plus information about cellphone provider, home ownership, household income, vehicle ownership, children, pets, and more. This information is used for selecting targeted advertising to viewers.
Telly also collects information about what you watch, search for, others in the room, plus locations, geo-positioning, and more personal data. The data-gathering is required in order to retain the TV as free. And, even if you are not watching TV it will display ads.
More than 250,000 people across the U.S. signed up in the first week Telly was offered. The company plans to distribute 500,000 units by the end of the year.
Do you still want that free TV?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Show video about Telly: https://youtu.be/RsQ-RCe5YKA
- Show Telly website: https://www.freetelly.com/
- Also show Telly Terms of Service page: https://www.freetelly.com/terms-of-service
- Poll students: Who wants a Telly?
- What are the challenges Telly has to solve?
- Who is the target market for Telly?
- What is its appeal to consumers?
- What is its appeal to advertisers and companies?
Source: Fried, I. (17 May 2023). Telly’s free TV is latest take on ad-supported hardware. Axios.com.; Graham, M. (19 July 2023). A billboard for the living room? How Telly want advertisers to pay for your TV set. Wall Street Journal.