Samsung to shutter Milk Video service in November

Samsung will end support for the video-discovery app a year and a day after its launch.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
2 min read

Enlarge Image
Samsung is discontinuing support for Video Milk, a video-discovery app it launched a year ago. CNET

Samsung plans to shut down Milk Video, a video-discovery app for users of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones.

The Korean electronics giant announced Monday it would end support for the app on November 20, a day after the first anniversary of its launch.

"While we remain committed to providing premium entertainment services, we have decided to end support for the Samsung Milk Video app as of November 20, 2015," the company said on the app's Google Play page.

Milk Video, a free video counterpart to the Milk Music song streaming service Samsung debuted in March 2014, launched in November 2014. The video service featured curated feeds and a strong social media component, making it easy for users to find and share videos that are popular online. Samsung also promised exclusive content from partners such as Red Bull, Funny or Die, and VICE.

The app's retirement marks another setback to Samsung's efforts expand into media, where it has an unimpressive track record. In 2014, it jettisoned its Samsung Media Hub, which was similar to the iTunes and Google Play stores for movies and TV shows. Milk Music -- a Pandora-like online radio offering -- is generally an afterthought in the crowded music-app landscape, overshadowed by the likes of Pandora, Spotify and a slew of others.

Videos offered through Milk Video typically were short features, such as clips from "Saturday Night Live" and other popular TV shows. A "Following" feed featured videos from brands and content makers liked by a user, and people could browse categories such as gaming, comedy and technology.

But the app's reach was hobbled by Samsung's decision to make the service available only in the US and only on its Galaxy smartphones released since 2012. Samsung had said it would likely will expand the service to other products, including TVs, wearables and possibly the Gear VR virtual reality headset

Milk Video was also going against Google's YouTube, the world's biggest online video source. YouTube streams 6 billion hours of video each month, and more than half of its viewing is mobile, according to the company. Samsung's fledgling service was dwarfed my YouTube's massive worldwide reach.

Milk Video didn't have ads, which gave it a leg up on YouTube. But that also meant that the service didn't generate revenue, meaning Samsung would have to pay content providers for the choicest video content to lure viewers to the service.

Samsung did not respond to a request for additional comment on the app's withdrawal.