Once upon a time it was advertising that interrupted the programs on television.

Then along came pay TV and we were promised television blissfully free of ads. That was the idea — wasn’t it?

These days pay TV seems to have just as many ads as free to air television, but unlike free to air — you get to pay for the privilege.

Streaming services like Netflix, however, are now producing their own content and offering it ad-free for the cost of a modest subscription.

So where do we go from here?

Well, Hyundai has just announced that it is launching its own TV channel — Channel Hyundai — that dispenses with the programming and serves up content about its vehicles.

Not sure what to make of this. Guess it’s advertising without the programs . . . like those weird digital channels that everyone deletes?

Driven by COVID-19 and the community’s sudden appetite for new content of any kind in our brave, new, stay at home world, Hyundai trumpets that it is leading the “digital transformation”  with an interactive app for smart TVs featuring multimedia content and a digital interface for customers to experience the brand in a new way.

Channel Hyundai offers, it says, various online content and services to give customers direct access to the world of Hyundai from the comfort of their homes.

Drum roll . . . the world premiere of the all-new 2021 Tucson will be broadcast on the app on September 15

“Channel Hyundai is our solution to the growing need for enhanced digital experiences amid the global pandemic,” Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer of Hyundai Motor, Wonhong Cho, said.

The marketing guy, of course.

“Our hope is that watching content on the big screen will bring family members together for a shared digital experience, since digital experiences can often feel isolated.”

Gosh. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Hyundai says is initially presenting three categories: LIVE, TV and MODELS – with plans to add more in future.

The LIVE category will offer product launches and presentations on the company’s vision, including the already mentioned Tucson launch.

The TV category features videos that cover a wide range of lifestyle topics, from Hyundai’s various partnerships with the art community to its motorsport activities.

Hyundai is also planning to produce original content exclusively for Channel Hyundai.

The MODELS category is for those who want to find out more about Hyundai vehicles.

Channel Hyundai features not only videos, but also a virtual interactive showroom that allows customers to get first-hand virtual experience of key features on Hyundai models.

Sounds like one big endless infomercial from here.

New online content and services will be added over time to provide customers an extensive collection of branded content with seamless access over smart TVs.

The content is currently in English, with subtitles and other language contents in the making.

At this stage, the Channel Hyundai app is available for LG and Samsung smart TVs manufactured in 2017 or beyond, and with webOS 3.5 or higher for LG models.

Hyundai plans to make the app more widely available on more brands of smart TVs in future.

The app can be downloaded under the search words “Hyundai” or “channel Hyundai” on LG Content Store or Samsung TV App Store.

All content can also be viewed on the Channel Hyundai website at http://channel.hyundai.com.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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