- Telly is offering 500,000 free 55 inch TVs to consumers willing to have a steady stream of advertisements in their homes.
- Connected TV ad spending was over $15 billion in 2021, representing a potentially lucrative source of revenue.
- The ads would appear on something Telly is calling a "Smart Screen," which would be below the main monitor.
A new startup named Telly wants to put free, dual-screen televisions in consumer homes, supported by the sale of anonymized data and always-on ads.
Telly, founded by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, announced Monday that it's opening an initial waitlist for 500,000 free ad-supported televisions. The 55-inch 4K televisions will include two screens, an integrated sound bar, and a video-conferencing camera with a privacy shutter, according to Telly's website.
The two-screen display would place a steady stream of ads on part of the lower, smaller display, which Telly is calling the "Smart Screen."
In an interview with The Verge, Telly's chief strategy officer Dallas Lawrence said Telly could show ads on both displays even when the TV isn't being used.
Revenue from ad sales would pay for the free TV set, which the company has valued at around $500 in an addendum to its terms of service. Advertising on smart televisions has been almost ubiquitous since the first internet-connected televisions began to see mass adoption in the mid-2010s.
Advertisers spent over $15 billion on connected TV ad buys in 2021, according to a press release from a Samsung partner.
Pozin was one of the founders of Pluto TV, which was sold to Paramount's predecessor Viacom in 2019 for $324 million, according to PitchBook data. Prior to launching Telly, Pozin also founded Coplex. Coplex managed "millions of dollars in marketing and digital media ad buys," according to Pozin's LinkedIn profile.