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Samsung Steps Up Audio Promotion

New York – Samsung will launch
its first audio-specific advertising campaigns this year to make consumers more
aware of its expanding home-audio presence and further build its home audio

“Consumers think of us as being a
leader in TVs, smartphones and appliances, but they don’t recognize us as an
audio company,” said Joe Stinziano, senior VP for home entertainment at Samsung
Electronics America.

In the first phase of the ad
campaign starting in April, Samsung will promote its first docking tabletop
speakers, said marketing communications VP Peggy Ang. Those ads will be
followed, likely in the fall, by ads promoting Samsung’s Blu-ray
home-theater-in-a-box systems, she said. Like last year, the company also plans
fall ads that mainly promote TVs but also include soundbars and HTiBs.

Size of the ad budget was not

The HTiB and docking-speaker ads
will highlight models that incorporate vacuum-tube preamp stages. They are the
$799-suggested HT-E6500W Blu-ray 3D 5.1 HTiB, the $999-suggested HT-E6730W
Blu-ray 3D 7.1 HTiB, and the $799-suggested DA-E750 Audio Dock.

 Docking-speaker ads will begin appearing in
April in enthusiast and general-interest magazines, with web ads starting in
May. The program will run for at least four months, Ang said. Print and web ads
will also be used to promote HTiBs.

The docking speaker with vacuum
tubes and one other docking speaker will be part of the company’s

Pricing Policy

(UPP), as will the two vacuum-tube HTiBs and two
$449-suggested convertible soundbars, which can be split in two to create
separate vertical left-right speakers.

In recent years, Samsung stepped
up its audio presence and is meeting its “very aggressive goals,” Stinziano told
TWICE. Long a player in HTiBs, Samsung entered the soundbar market several
years ago, added AV receivers in 2010, and this year launches its first docking
speakers. All docking speakers feature stereo Bluetooth along with a dock for
Apple’s mobile devices and a charging dock for select Samsung mobile devices.
Two docking speakers combine embedded Wi-Fi with the Apple Airplay and DLNA
streaming technologies.

With the launch of the
vacuum-tube products, “We’re getting into the premium segment of audio,”
Stinziano noted.

 In ramping up its audio emphasis, the company
took number one share in unit and dollar sell-through in integrated HTiBs in
2009, and in 2011, the company maintained its top unit and dollar share, he
said. In soundbars, the company fluctuated in 2011 between the number one and
two positions in dollar sell-through.

The company has performed well in
these two categories, Stinziano contended, because of great value, innovative
designs, and the tendency by consumers to “match their audio systems with their
TV [brand].”

Samsung has stepped up its audio
focus because “we have some unique things to bring to the market,” he added.  One such thing is a Sound Share feature
appearing in the top two wireless docking speakers at $449 and $799. These
docking speakers use stereo Bluetooth to stream music and TV-program audio from
select Bluetooth-equipped Samsung TVs. With this feature, consumers can stream
a TV’s Internet music services to another room or listen to TV programming in
an adjacent room without turning up the TV’s volume, Stinziano said.

In 2013, Samsung “will come back
into the receiver space with more focus and innovation,” having chosen to focus
on wireless docking speakers and HTiBs in 2012, Stinziano said. The company is
carrying over two AVRs this year, including a Blu-ray-equipped model.