|Founders||Tom Ryan |
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.
Pluto TV licenses its content directly from providers, and has deals with more than 75 content partners as of 2017. Its content is available via its website and supported apps.
As of November 2019, the service has 20 million monthly active users.
Early years (2013–2019)Edit
In July 2015, Pluto TV signed a deal with Hulu to distribute Hulu's free video content. In October 2015, they added 20 additional channels, bringing the total number of additional channels to above 100. 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. Pluto Inc. added a chief programming officer role in April, 2017.
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. Variety reported that as of May 2017[update], the service was averaging 6 million users per month, and was rated one of the most-watched apps on Roku, as of October 2017[update].
By October 2017, Pluto TV reached over 15 million users.
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.
In October 2018, Pluto TV launched in the United Kingdom on Sky's Now TV service. Also in October 2018, Pluto TV picked Tru Optik to help with ad inventory. On December 4, 2018, Pluto TV launched in Germany and Austria, also through Sky.
Purchase by Viacom (2019–present)Edit
Viacom's plans for Pluto TV include more licensed content from Viacom, expansion into Latin America and availability on smart TVs. On March 18, 2019, Viacom announced plans to launch Pluto TV worldwide.
On May 1, 2019, 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.
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. 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.
On September 24, 2019, Pluto TV became available on Android devices in Europe.
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).
- The Asylum
- BBC Studios
- Big Sky Conference
- Bloomberg Television
- BRB Internacional
- The Carsey-Werner Company
- Champions Indoor Football
- Cheddar News
- Cinamour Entertainment
- Court TV
- Dash Radio
- Eleven Sports Network
- Fox Sports
- Geek and Sundry
- Glory Kickboxing
- Impact Wrestling
- King Features Syndicate
- Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide
- Major League Soccer
- Newsmax TV
- NASA TV
- National Football League
- NBC News
- People Magazine
- Pursuit Channel
- Scotty Gelt Productions
- Shout! Factory
- Sinclair Broadcast Group
- Sky News
- Sony Pictures
- WeatherNation TV
- The Young Turks
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.
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.
- Philo, another service partly owned by ViacomCBS
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