Samsung on Wednesday announced a new freebie service for owners of its Galaxy smartphones. It’s called Milk Video, and it follows in the footsteps of Milk Music, a free ad-supported music streaming service that was launched in March of last year. We had a chance to check it out, and it’s pretty cool.
Milk Video serves up content from about 46 channels right now, ranging from Funny or Die to Vice, VEVO, GQ, Glamour and others. Most clips are short, ranging from about 1 minute to 5 minutes, and Samsung says that it will serve up exclusive content from partners such as Vice soon. Currently, there are no plans to add longer form videos, such as movies and TV shows, though that may change. Also of note: there aren’t any ads yet, though that, too, may change in the future.
Milk Video also doubles as a social network of sorts, allowing you to create your own custom profile – there’s a Facebook login option – and to curate your own feed of videos you subscribe to and follow. You can also follow other users, star the videos they share, share your own clips and more. It’s kind of like Twitter, but for video. Of course, the sharing expands beyond just Milk Video – you can repost videos to Facebook, e-mail them, send them off to Twitter where they’re supported with Twitter Cards and more. Commenting isn’t part of the service just yet.
Your feed is populated by the videos you choose to subscribe to, though like Milk Music, you can scroll to different categories using a built-in tuner. In Milk Video, the tuner exists on the far-right of the display. Tap and hold, and you can switch between a feed of videos from folks you follow to highlighted comedy videos, gaming, how-to, music, sports, tech, entertainment and more. You can also search for content, though Samsung says it has worked hard to curate the videos for you.
The UI is really well done – it’s easy to discover music and everything is fluid, in a nice endless list of videos you can tap into. A video will play at the top of your screen in portrait mode, which means you can still browse other videos while watching one, or you can turn the phone into landscape mode to watch in full-screen.
Samsung’s hope is that this is a first-stop destination for fans of online video, and a place for its customers to watch clips first, before going to any other service. It’s a nice first start, but the content is fairly limited right now, and it’s going to be tough to attract folks away from places like YouTube where they’ve already curated custom playlists. Additionally, with YouTube Music Key on the horizon, Google’s service is going to be another destination for watching music videos, too.
Free is free, though, and if you own a Galaxy device Milk Video is definitely worth checking out. You should see the app populate in the Google Play Store today, and supported devices at launch include the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S III mini and Galaxy S5.