Do you want a free 55 inch TV? The goal: non-stop ads, less privacy

New York (CNN) Meet Telly, the startup looking to give away 55-inch TVs for free. There’s a problem: a second screen attached to the bottom stream of non-stop information and ads based on the household’s extensive personal data.

The TVs, bolstered by those second-screen ads, will begin shipping to customers on hold this summer. Telly opened registrations for the first 500,000 Dual Screen Smart TVs, a 55-inch screen with the second smart screen integrated through a speaker.

As with most televisions, cable and over-the-air channels are not included. However, Telly mentions an “overwhelming” demand.

“We’re putting an end to the decades long practice of double-dipping the consumer, charging the consumer for the TV and then having the TV manufacturer turn around and make billions of dollars selling advertising and data from that,” Dallas Lawrence, Telly’s chief government official told CNN. television without providing any value to the consumer.” “We believe the consumer should share this value proposition.”

Telly relies on a second source of revenue on top of advertising: data. “You give us your demographics, your psychology at the individual and household level even before you get your device, so we know who you are, we know where you live, we know your income, we know what kind of car you drive,” Ilya Buzyn, founder and CEO of Telly, told Hollywood Reporter. Reporter Monday, we know when the lease expires.

“Similar to other TV makers, we have viewing data, but we also have audience data now in the individual household. When you combine those two things together, targeting is literally one-to-one.”

According to the company’s privacy policy, anonymized collected data includes contact information and cultural or social identifiers such as favorite sports teams, IP address, gender, political opinions, and sexual orientation. (After this article was published, Telly said the issue of sexual orientation had been removed from its privacy policy and not brought up to any customers.)

Some of the data comes from a survey that users fill out about preferences and lifestyle choices to maximize ad personalization, such as spamming users with restaurant ads and offering coupons to those who say they eat too much.

While the data-intensive collection process may come as a surprise, Telly argues that smart TVs already do this with less transparency — and without free TV.

“The reality here is the only difference between the data we collect and what every other TV manufacturer collects today is that we ask the consumer up front to share it, and then we give them $1,000 for free in return,” said Lawrence.

On top of a box for the announcements, the Smart Display displays information including news, sports scores, weather, and stocks.

Telly also offers AI-powered recommendations for streaming content, Zoom video calls (with privacy shutter), video games, motion-tracking fitness software, and a “Hey Telly” voice assistant. According to Lawrence, system updates will be frequent.

Although it comes with a 4K Android TV streaming stick, the technology is compatible with other major streaming devices like Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV.

Telly will also collect data about TV consumption, using a sensor to rate how many people are watching from their couch. This anonymized data is intended to help media companies better understand viewer numbers and demographics.

Prior to launching Telly in 2021, Pozin co-founded Pluto TV, a free ad-supported streaming service that Viacom bought in 2019 for $340 million.

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