A Californian TV startup named Telly is giving away 500,000 TVs measuring 55-inches to Americans for free. More than half a million persons will have the TV for free once they agree to share their personal data and consent to watch free ads. More than 100,000 people signed up within 36 hours of the offer, said Telly CEO and founder Ilya Pozin.
Pozin, who co-founded Pluto TV, a TV streaming service nearly 10 years ago, said the 55-inch TV has two screens – a main screen showing real content and a smaller screen below showing non-stop ads. He said registrants can expect to begin receiving the free TVs when they ship out this summer.
“Interest in Telly has surpassed even our most optimistic expectations,” said Pozin. “In our first 36 hours, we had more than 100,000 people register for the ultimate free television upgrade for the living room, without spending a single dollar on marketing, and we’re just getting started! We averaged nearly a signup per second, which shows just how much excitement there is for both the groundbreaking new dual-screen TV design and for the new ad-supported business model Telly is introducing to the market.”
Telly’s chief strategy officer, Dallas Lawrence, said each TV is valued at $1,000 and consumers are to use it forever – but any beneficiary who desires can return it after some years. He said the TVs will receive software updates to make them more interesting and valuable to customers. He said millions more of the set will be shipped out to people next year. He said Telly is giving customers value for the TVs by only watching ads.
“We are bringing an end to the decades-long practice of TV manufacturers double-dipping on consumers where they charge for the television and then turn around and make billions of dollars selling advertising and data without providing the consumer any value,” he said. “We believe the consumer should share in that value proposition and therefore we are providing them the most advanced TV ever created for free.”
Launched in 2021, Telly is backed by Rich Greenfield of LightShed Ventures and Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media. Telly is probably the first TV company to give out millions of free TVs in exchange for personal data from consumers and TV ads. Usually, companies give out cash or samples of small products in exchange for consumers’ personal data, but Telly’s free 55-inches TVs are a sharp departure from the norm.