Samba TV

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Samba TV
Original author(s)David Harrison, Omar Zennadi
Developer(s)Free Stream Media Corp.
Initial releaseGPL
Written inPython
Operating systemWindows, Mac OS X and Linux
Available inEnglish

Samba TV is a television technology company that offers real-time insights and audience analytics. It was founded in 2008 by early employees of BitTorrent, including Samba TV's current chief executive officer, Ashwin Navin.[1] It develops software for televisions, set-top boxes, smart phones and tablets to enable interactive television through personalization. Through its portfolio of applications and TV platform technologies, Samba TV is built directly into the TV or set-top box and will recognize onscreen content—live or time-shifted—and make relevant information available to users at their request. The service is available only after a user activates it on a device, and is supported by interest-based advertising delivered on the television or on devices within the household. Through APIs and SDKs for mobile application software developers, Samba TV is usable on a second screen or the TV itself. Samba TV has a global addressable footprint of 46 million devices globally, 28 million of which are in the United States.[2] Its devices are distributed in roughly 118 countries.[3]

The company has raised over $40 million in capital from Disney, Time Warner, August Capital, Interpublic Group, Liberty Global, Stagwell, A+E Networks as well as individuals like Mark Cuban, Kun Gao, founder of Crunchyroll, James Hong, founder of Hot or Not, Charles Huang, founder of Guitar Hero, angel investor Tom McInerney, and others.[4][5]


TypeVC funded
IndustryMedia, broadcast, television, digital cinema, Internet, Automatic Content Recognition, Social television, second screen, Smart TV, application software, Interactive TV
FoundedSan Francisco, CA (incorporated 2008)
Key people
Ashwin Navin, chief executive officer

The company was founded as Flingo in 2008, to help media companies like Showtime, Fox, A+E Networks, TMZ, Revision3, PBS and CBS develop apps on Smart TVs that synchronize with linear Broadcast programming and Non-linear media.[6] In January 2012, Samba TV launched one-click sharing on social networks like Facebook and Twitter from the television.[7] In January 2013, the company announced further developments and features and named its interactive TV platform Samba.[8]


In September 2013, the company adopted the Samba TV name.[9]

In October 2017, The Walt Disney Company became a strategic investor in Samba TV to better understand TV viewership and engagement with advertising.[10][11]

In December 2018, Samba TV acquired Screen6,[12] a firm offering real-time, cross-device identity resolutions.

In August 2019, Samba TV acquired Wove,[13] to help direct-to-consumer brands TV ad targeting.

In August 2019, Samba TV acquired, Axwave, an international software development company.


In 2016, Samba TV partnered with MediaMath.[14]

In 2017, Samba TV partnered with video ad serving platform SpotX[15] and media/advertising research company Kantar.[16]

In 2019, Samba TV partnered with Twitter to help measure the social network's effectiveness in driving tune-in.[17] That same year, Samba TV also partnered with video streaming aggregator Reelgood.[18]

In 2020, Samba TV partnered with global programmatic media partner MiQ, [19] global technology company The Trade Desk,[20] media measurement and analytics company Comscore,[21] as well as Amazon Web Services.[22] and TiVo.[23] That same year, Samba TV also partnered with point-of-sale data provider Catalina and paper product manufacturer Georgia-Pacific to measure cross-channel media spend.[24]

In 2021, Samba TV partnered with online advertising software company Pubmatic,[25] as well as television measurement and analytics company 605.[26]


In July 2021, Samba TV launched its global Real-time TV Viewership Dashboard, an interactive TV analytics dashboard featuring geographic and demographic analysis of viewership in real-time across the world, starting with four of the largest media markets: the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Australia.[27]

Also in 2021, Samba TV announced its proprietary identifier, SambaID,[28] as part of its Samba TV Identity solution, giving marketers, publishers and platforms the ability to transact with each other using a variety of different currencies to optimize against. Programmatic research technology firm Lucid later announced its use of SambaID for clients like Digitas and Wavemaker.[29]


Samba TV's technology is integrated into 24 Smart TV brands globally. These brands are listed on their website as Philips, Sony, Toshiba, beko, Magnavox, TCL, Grundig, Sanyo, AOC, Seiki, Element, Sharp, Westinghouse, Vestel, Panasonic, Hitachi, Finlux, Telefunken, Digihome, JVC, Luxor, Techwood, and Regal.[1]


Samba TV tracks what appears on the users' TV by reading pixels and utilizing this data for personalized recommendations on the TV or mobile apps connected to the television. This capability extends to streaming programs and even video games played on the television.[30]

In January 2021, Samba TV introduced Picture Perfect – an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that optimizes picture quality in real time for gaming, live sports, movies and more. Designed to be embedded within the TV, Picture Perfect will recognize and optimize the quality of the content playing on the screen in real time, with or without an internet connection.[31]


In 2021, Samba TV was chosen by Adweek readers as "Best in Measurement Solutions" during the 2021 Adweek Readers' Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards.[32]


Samba TV was incorporated as Free Stream Media Corp. in 2008, a company founded by Ashwin Navin, David Harrison, Alvir Navin, Omar Zennadi and Todd Johnson.[33] According to the public source code repository, Flingo's open source client was written by David Harrison and Omar Zennadi in Python, and is free software licensed under the GPL.[34]

In February 2012, Flingo announced a $7 million Series A round investment from August Capital.[35] In May 2012, Flingo added additional investors, closing at $8 million, including entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Gary Lauder. Cuban discovered Flingo at CES 2012 when he saw a crowd in the Flingo booth watching a demonstration of its SyncApps technology. The funding helped Flingo expand its presence with smart TV and device manufacturers, building on its existing partnerships.[36]

In April 2015, Interpublic Group announced a strategic investment in Samba TV. Subsequently, Samba TV announced more strategic investors totaling $30 million in a Series B round coming from Liberty Global, Disney, WarnerMedia, Interpublic Group, MDC Partners, A+E Networks and Union Grove Venture Partners.[4][5]

See also


  1. ^ "Flingo Integrates Web and Television With the First Application Publishing Suit". Marketwire. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  2. ^ "Samba TV, 605 set addressable advertising data partnership". FierceVideo. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Company Profile for Samba TV". 7 January 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Liberty Global invests in Samba TV". Broadband TV News. 2018-04-11. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  5. ^ a b "Interpublic to Buy Minority Stake in Samba TV, a Start-Up for TV Analytics". New York Times. 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  6. ^ "Flingo Dives Into Social TV with Synchronized TV Apps Archived 9 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine". Lost Remote. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  7. ^ "Flingo's SyncApps let you tweet directly from your TV". GigaOM. 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  8. ^ "Flingo reveals Samba, a first of its kind dual interactive TV and second screen platform". PandoDaily. 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  9. ^ "Flingo Rebrands as Samba TV". Multichannel News. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  10. ^ "Samba TV, Brit + Co Among Disney Accelerator's New Startup Class". Hollywood Reporter. 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  11. ^ "Samba TV and Disney Accelerator". Company Website. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  12. ^ Schiff, Allison (20 December 2018). "Samba TV Buys Screen6 To Try And Solve OTT's Frequency Capping Nightmare". AdExchanger. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  13. ^ Johnson, Lauren. "Samba TV has acquired a startup to help teach big brands direct-to-consumer tricks". Business Insider. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  14. ^ Flomenbaum, Adam (7 September 2016). "MediaMath partners with Samba TV, enabling clients to retarget TV audiences".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Samba TV, SpotX Partner To Enhance Connected TV Audience Segmentation". Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  16. ^ "Kantar, Samba TV partner on TV ad analytics platform". FierceVideo. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  17. ^ Cohen, David (28 March 2019). "Twitter Is Teaming Up With Samba TV to Help Measure Its Effectiveness at Driving Tune-In". Adweek. Retrieved 9 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Reelgood and Samba TV partner to make smart TVs more personal". I-COM. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  19. ^ "MiQ signs partnership with Samba TV - AdNews". Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  20. ^ "The Trade Desk expands Samba TV partnership to Australia - AdNews". Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  21. ^ Lafayette, Jon (21 September 2020). "Comscore to Measure CTV with Samba TV". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  22. ^ "Samba TV Collaborates with Amazon Web Services to develop Privacy-compliant, Secure Access to TV Data and Analytics Within the Cloud". Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  23. ^ Lafayette, John (15 December 2020). "Samba TV Gets Additional Viewer Data TiVo Households".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ Weissbrot, Alison (12 August 2020). "How Georgia-Pacific Optimizes Buys With Real-Time Sales And Viewership Data".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ Moulding, John. "Pubmatic and Samba TV join forces to help global brands target hard-to-reach audiences | Videonet". Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  26. ^ "Samba TV Triples Data Footprint With 605 Partnership – Media Play News". Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  27. ^ Winslow, George (22 July 2021). "Samba TV Announces Global TV Viewership Dashboard".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ "Samba TV Starts SambaID Identifier To Measure Campaigns". Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  29. ^ Lafayette, Jon (18 August 2021). "Samba TV, Lucid Team Up on Linear TV Measurement for Brands". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved 10 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ "How New Privacy Regulations Can Be a Win Win for Companies and Consumers". 18 October 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  31. ^ "Samba TV and Vestel launch "Picture Perfect" to improve smart TV picture quality with AI". AI Business. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  32. ^ Weaver, Cat (25 July 2021). "Meet the Winners of the 2021 Adweek Readers' Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ "Ashwin Navin's Connected TV Startup Flingo Archived 26 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine". 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  34. ^ "Flingo Code Repository on GitHub". 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  35. ^ "Flingo raises $7m to make your TV smarter Archived 15 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine". NewTeeVee. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  36. ^ "Mark Cuban Invests in Social TV Startup Flingo Archived 16 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine". Lost Remote. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-07-12.

External links