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webOS vs. Tizen OS: What's the Right Platform for Your OTT App in 2023?

Both webOS and Tizen OS are Linux-based smart TV operating systems making up a significant chunk of the market.

Broadcast Operator , Content Distribution
Kelly Messori08.31.234 min read

Launching an OTT platform is filled with numerous roadblocks. You have to deal with everything from content creation and management to distribution. 

The biggest challenge is understanding your target demographic and taking your content to a wider audience.

So, how do you ensure your content reaches target users at the right time? 

The key is to ensure your content is available on the platforms your target audience uses to watch OTT content. An effective technique is to integrate your app with smart TV sets, considering the fact that 63% of US households now own them. Even globally, smart TV penetration is expected to cross 50% by 2026.

But distributing your content to smart TVs isn't very straightforward. Every other smart TV brand has its proprietary operating system. 

This means you'll have to identify the brands your audience uses and then integrate your smart TV app with the operating systems of those brands to ensure that your content reaches your audience. 

Both webOS and Tizen OS are Linux-based smart TV operating systems making up a significant chunk of the market. Distributing your OTT app through them can take your content to millions of viewers. But it's important to understand the difference between the two before starting app development.

In the following sections, we'll go through a detailed comparison of the two operating systems so that you can make an informed decision. 

Let's dive right in.

webOS: A Quick Overview

webOS is one of the most popular smart TV operating systems, and it mainly powers LG television sets. The platform is known for its quick performance and simple and intuitive interface.

Additionally, webOS supports many OTT apps, from Netflix and Hulu to Disney+ and Apple TV+. 

Image via LG Newsroom

webOS comes with advanced built-in features, such as:

  • Google Assistant and Alexa integration
  • 360-degree video playback
  • Streaming at 4K resolution with HDR and Dolby Vision
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • LG Magic Remote integration
  • Personal profiles
  • NFC magic tap to mirror smartphone content

Benefits of webOS

With a 38% market share among smart TV users in the US, webOS is the country's third-most-popular smart TV operating system, behind Tizen OS and Roku OS. It allows OTT service providers to reach millions of viewers.

Image via Next TV

The best part is that LG has allowed third-party TV manufacturers, such as Konka and Ayonz, to use webOS by making it open-source. In 2022, it also launched the webOS Hub and made it available to over 200 partner brands like Hyundai and Aiwa. That means the OS won't restrict the reach of your OTT app to LG TV users.

Drawbacks of webOS

A slight catch with webOS is that it doesn't support some leading streaming platforms, such as Freeview Play. That could be a huge challenge when you're trying to reach viewers in the UK.

Additionally, it lags drastically behind Tizen OS in the US. 

It's now time to look at the other side of the webOS vs. Tizen OS debate.

Tizen: A Quick Overview

Tizen is an open-source smart TV operating system primarily developed by Samsung. It's the main force behind all Samsung Smart TV sets.

Apart from connected TVs, Tizen is used to build other devices, such as smartphones and wearable devices. Just like webOS, Tizen also supports a wide range of OTT platforms. It's particularly known for its speed as it comes with a 64-bit processor.

Image via The Verge

Distinguishing features of Tizen include:

  • User-friendly interface and easy navigation
  • Streaming at 4K resolution
  • Built-in voice assistant
  • Google Assistant integration
  • Support for Samsung SmartThings
  • Multi-view feature that enables viewers to watch streaming content with family and friends

Benefits of Tizen

The biggest benefit of creating a Tizen app is that it's the US's most widely used smart TV operating system. At 56%, Tizen's market share is significantly higher than that of webOS, Android TV, and Roku TV OS.

That makes it ideal for growing your streaming platform with increased viewership. Additionally, it'll help you reach users on other devices, such as smartphones and tablets. It's estimated that globally, over 130 million devices currently use Tizen OS. 

And while Tizen OS was restricted to Samsung devices, it recently opened up the OS to other brands like Akai and RCA, which can further drive your app's reach. 

Drawbacks of Tizen

While Tizen OS has the largest market share among smart TV users in the US, the numbers aren't very impressive in Europe. Over the past four years, Tizen has consistently lost its market share while webOS and Android TV gained at its expense. 

Image via Dataxis

webOS vs. Tizen OS: How Do They Stack Up?

The webOS vs. Tizen debate doesn't have a clear winner. Both operating systems deliver a seamless user experience and support numerous apps. 

They also have a significant market share in the US. Given that both operating systems are now available to other manufacturers, the future looks promising for them. 

It's up to you to identify your target audience and choose the most suitable platform.

But irrespective of the platform you choose, you'll need a solution that helps you distribute your content to them. Zype Apps Creator is an easy-to-use solution that enables you to create and distribute your OTT apps. Reach out to us today to schedule a demo.


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