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Telly: Over 100,000 ordered our free ad-supported 4K TV in the first 36 hours

19 May 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

Do Americans really want a free 4K TV with ads and data tracking? The answer appears to be yes, as more than 100,000 have signed up for it in the first 36 hours, according to the company.

Telly's privacy terms are pretty invasive and we are not sure that it is a particularly good LCD TV, but on the other hand Smart TVs nowadays, which you actually pay for, come with similar privacy terms – except you can decide to disconnect it from the internet.

- "Interest in Telly has surpassed even our most optimistic expectations," said Telly CEO and Founder Ilya 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."

500,000 this year, "millions" next year

Telly wants to ship 500,000 free units in 2023 and is planning "to ship millions of free units in 2024". Who is actually ordering it? Telly knows, because, personal data... - "Two thirds of those signing up for a Telly are Gen Z and Millennial households who live their lives across multiple screens today and are eager to have a TV in the living room that matches their lifestyle," said Pozin.


Telly has a dual-screen. Ads are shown on the lower screen. Photo: Telly

Tries to address privacy concerns

In an interview with Lowpass, the company's executives tried to address some of the privacy concerns that consumers had flagged after reading the terms. Chief Strategy Officer Dallas Lawrence claimed that Telly's ad targeting is not all that different from what other makers of Smart TVs engage in, except they rely on third-party data brokers to profile households. Telly also explained that the camera is not watching people in the room – it has a physical shutter – and only a motion sensor similar to the one in Google products is being used to detect motion in the room. - "It doesn’t record, it doesn’t transmit, it doesn’t (use) facial recognition," Pluto co-founder and Telly CEO Ilya Pozin told Lowpass. Still, remember that there is an alternative to having your personal user data harvested and looking at ads all day. A media player such as Apple TV 4K may be more expensive but it is worth it in our opinion, and can be connected to any TV via HDMI.

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