Pluto TV is an American streaming service owned by ViacomCBS. The service was founded in 2013 and is based in Los Angeles, California.[1]

Pluto TV
Subsidiary
IndustryEntertainment
Founded2013; 7 years ago (2013)
FoundersTom Ryan
Ilya Pozin
Headquarters,
United States
ParentViacomCBS
Websitepluto.tv

Pluto TV is a free, ad-supported Video on Demand (VOD) service that, in addition to on-demand options, primarily distributes its content through digital linear channels designed to emulate the experience of traditional broadcast programming. The service's revenue is generated from video advertisements seen between programming.[2]

Pluto TV licenses its content directly from providers, and has deals with more than 75 content partners as of 2017.[3] Its content is available via its website and supported apps.

As of November 2019, the service has 20 million monthly active users.[4]

HistoryEdit

Early years (2013–2019)Edit

In 2014, Pluto TV raised $13 million in series A funding.[2] In May 2014, Pluto released a digital video recorder feature to their website.[5]

In July 2015, Pluto TV signed a deal with Hulu to distribute Hulu's free video content.[6] In October 2015, they added 20 additional channels, bringing the total number of additional channels to above 100.[7] On May 15, 2016, Pluto TV signed a deal with Sony to launch the Pluto TV app on the PlayStation Store for the Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

In 2016, the company raised $30 million in series B venture capital funding, valuing the company at $140 million. The round was led by German TV station ProSieben, with additional funding from telecommunications company Sky UK.[2] Pluto Inc. added a chief programming officer role in April, 2017.[8]

In 2017, Pluto TV added a large library of movies and television shows on demand. Pluto's library is licensed from MGM, Viacom, Columbia TriStar, DHX Media, Nelvana, Fremantle, Monstercat, King Features Syndicate, and other studios.[9] Variety reported that as of May 2017, the service was averaging 6 million users per month,[10] and was rated one of the most-watched apps on Roku, as of October 2017.[11]

By October 2017, Pluto TV reached over 15 million users.[12]

On March 15, 2018, Pluto TV partners up with SpotX.[13]

In August 2018, Vizio announced a new streaming experience called WatchFree, built into several models of its lineup of Internet-connected smart TVs. This service is powered by Pluto TV, and Vizio advertised "an easy-to-navigate, cable-like interface" in the announcement.[14]

In October 2018, Pluto TV launched in the United Kingdom on Sky's Now TV service.[15] Also in October 2018, Pluto TV picked Tru Optik to help with ad inventory.[16] On December 4, 2018, Pluto TV launched in Germany and Austria, also through Sky.[17]

Purchase by Viacom (2019–present)Edit

In January 2019, Viacom announced its intention to acquire Pluto for $340 million.[18] The deal was completed on March 4, 2019.[19]

Viacom's plans for Pluto TV include more licensed content from Viacom, expansion into Latin America and availability on smart TVs.[20] On March 18, 2019, Viacom announced plans to launch Pluto TV worldwide.[21]

On May 1, 2019,[22] Pluto introduced branded channels based on Viacom cable outlets and other owned properties, including content from Paramount Pictures, BET, Comedy Central, Logo, Nickelodeon, and MTV. Among those channels is a revival of Spike, which had folded a year prior. The free channels aren't simulcasts of their namesake networks but instead focus primarily on archival content and series that Pluto TV has acquired from other providers.[23][24]

On June 13, 2019, Pluto TV was launched on Comcast's Xfinity X1 cable boxes.[25]

A Deadline Hollywood piece identified Pluto TV as a potential outlet for CBS streaming content following the announcement of CBS Corporation's re-merger with Viacom in August 2019. Pluto already carries CBS's free online news service CBSN and technology & video game-oriented CNET Video.[26][27][28] Additional channels from CBS, including localized versions of CBSN for New York and Los Angeles and an Entertainment Tonight branded channel (ET Live), were added November 13, 2019, prior to the merger's closure.[29]

On September 24, 2019, Pluto TV became available on Android devices in Europe.[30]

ProgrammingEdit

As of September 1, 2019, Pluto TV carries over 200 channels packaging content acquired through various syndication deals as well as programming from Viacom's internal libraries. Traditional television channels whose feeds are carried directly on Pluto include NASA TV, WeatherNation TV, Buzzr (owned by Fremantle), Newsmax TV, Bloomberg Television, Court TV, Pursuit Channel, RT, and Stadium (owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group).[31]

Current partnersEdit

AvailabilityEdit

Pluto TV's supported devices include: Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android and iOS mobile devices, and Chromecast. It is also available on Microsoft Windows and macOS computers.[32]

Outside of the United States, Pluto TV and its apps are currently available in the United Kingdom, Europe, Germany (not everywhere), and Austria. Pluto is also available in countries such as Canada, but only in a limited capacity due to program rights.

See alsoEdit

  • Philo, another service partly owned by ViacomCBS

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pluto, Inc.: Private Company Information – Businessweek". bloomberg.com. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah. "Pluto TV, a free streaming service for cord cutters, raises $30 million more". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  3. ^ "Pluto aims to bring TV to the Internet". Yahoo Finance. 17 February 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  4. ^ "Pluto TV claims 20M monthly active users". FierceVideo.
  5. ^ Ong, Josh (2014-05-15). "Web TV Service Pluto.TV Adds a DVR Feature". The Next Web. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  6. ^ "Hulu inks distribution deal with Pluto TV". CED. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  7. ^ "Pluto TV Adds 20 New Channels Including IGN, The Onion, AwesomenessTV, Newsy, And The Young Turks". Android Police. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-04-04). "Pluto TV Taps Former E! Exec Robert Magdlen as Chief Programming Officer". Variety. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  9. ^ "Streaming TV service Pluto TV adds an on-demand video library". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  10. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-05-16). "Pluto TV, Angling to Become the Spotify of Premium Video, Launches Free On-Demand Service (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  11. ^ Roku. "Roku". Roku. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  12. ^ "Free streaming TV service Pluto TV raises $8.3M, in new round led by Samsung – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  13. ^ SpotX. "Pluto TV Teams Up With SpotX To Drive Advertising Demand and Monetization of Premium Video". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  14. ^ Roettgers, Janko; Roettgers, Janko (2018-08-01). "Vizio Integrates Pluto TV With New Ad-Supported WatchFree Service". Variety. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  15. ^ "Pluto TV makes European debut on Now TV in the UK". Digital TV Europe. October 2, 2018.
  16. ^ Lafayette, Jon. "Pluto TV Picks Tru Optik to Measure Ad Inventory". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  17. ^ "Pluto TV launches in Germany and Austria". Broadband TV News. December 3, 2018.
  18. ^ "Viacom Acquires Free Streaming Platform Pluto TV for $340 Million". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  19. ^ "Viacom Announces Completion of Pluto TV Acquisition". www.businesswire.com. 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  20. ^ "Viacom eyes distributor partnerships for Pluto TV | FierceVideo". www.fiercevideo.com.
  21. ^ White, Peter (2019-03-18). "Viacom To Roll Out Ad-Supported Service Pluto TV Worldwide As It Warns Global SVOD Market Is "Too Crowded"". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  22. ^ Spangler, Todd; Spangler, Todd (2019-04-29). "Viacom Launching 14 Free Channels on Pluto TV, Sets Broad Digital Originals Slate". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  23. ^ Peterson, Tim (16 April 2019). "Viacom will debut 15 channels on Pluto TV to bolster its upfront pitch". Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  24. ^ Bouma, Luke (2019-07-23). "Pluto TV Adds 3 New Channels Including Totally Turtles". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  25. ^ Blumenthal, Eli. "Pluto TV brings free streaming network to Comcast's Xfinity X1 cable boxes". CNET. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  26. ^ Hayes, Dade; Hayes, Dade (2019-08-20). "NFL And Pluto TV Team For Streaming Channel "Celebrating" Pro Football's Past". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  27. ^ Szalai, George; Bond, Paul; Vlessing, Etan (August 13, 2019). "CBS, Viacom Strike Deal to Recombine". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  28. ^ "CBS and Viacom To Combine" (PDF). CBS. August 12, 2019.
  29. ^ Bouma, Luke (2019-11-13). "Pluto TV Adds Several CBS Stations Including ET Live For Free". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  30. ^ Barnes, Jess (2019-09-24). "Pluto TV Europe is Now Available on Android Devices". Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  31. ^ "The Cord Cutters Guide to Pluto TV (A FREE Streaming Service) – Cord Cutters News". Cord Cutters News. 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  32. ^ "Watch on your favorite devices". Pluto TV. June 10, 2019. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019.

External linksEdit