Samsung announces video rental service but will be tied to its mobile devices for now

SINGAPORE - In a bid to capture an audience hungry for television shows on the go, tech giant Samsung announced a new video rental service on Monday night.

The service, under the working title of Project Glued, will offer the first episodes of TV shows for free, and allow users to rent the entire season for 30 days from US$6.50.

While the South Korean electronics giant declined to say how many shows will be available, they will come mainly from the United States and Britain. Asian content is being considered.

Project Glued will be available in Singapore and Philippines initially as a mobile app for Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets from the third quarter of the year. A Web version - which can be accessed on any computer - and a version for Samsung TV sets is in the works.

Other Southeast Asian countries will follow, and the company is keeping its options open for other countries such as the US and Europe.

Users can also share parts of a TV show's season or the whole season for free - depending on the show - for 24 hours, with up to six people.

Samsung said it wanted to launch the video rental service in Southeast Asia because consumers in the region want TV content and there was "definitely a gap" in meeting that demand.

In Singapore, popular video streaming subscription services such as Netflix are not officially available, although many users find ways to get around geographical locks that prevent access to these services.

Other major online video services includes movie rentals and purchases from Apple's iTunes store, which became available here in 2012.

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