|Founders||Tom Ryan |
Pluto TV is an Internet-based TV platform owned by Viacom. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Los Angeles, California. Pluto TV runs as an app on 14 platforms, including Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and PlayStation consoles. Live and on-demand Pluto TV content is also available via their website. The company currently has more than 75 content partners, over 100 free channels, and reaches over 15 million monthly active users. Pluto TV generates revenue from video advertisements between programming, with plans to remain a free television provider. Pluto TV licenses its content directly from providers.
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 Sony 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 on-demand movies and television shows. Pluto's library is licensed from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Viacom, DHX Media, Nelvana, FremantleMedia, Monstercat, and King Features Syndicate, among 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]. A channel dedicated to movies from The Asylum was added in June 2017.
As of February 2018[update], Pluto had over 100 channels. Most of the channels are only available online, packaging content Pluto has acquired through various syndication deals; channels whose traditionally televised feeds are carried directly on Pluto include NASA TV, WeatherNation TV, Buzzr, Newsmax TV, Bloomberg Television, RT and Stadium.
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 April 2019, Pluto TV signed a distribution deal with BBC Studios to air episodes of Doctor Who and Antiques Roadshow. The same month, Pluto TV announced a channel that features content from CNN. In April 2019, Pluto TV confirmed that it would add new content from CONtv to its library,
Purchase by Viacom
Viacom's plans for Pluto TV include more licensed content from Viacom, expansion into Latin America, availability on smart TV's, and paid subscriptions. On March 18, 2019, Viacom announced plans to launch Pluto TV worldwide.
On May 1, 2019, Viacom introduced free versions of several its cable outlets on Pluto TV, including content from Paramount Pictures, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon (including Nick Jr. and NickRewind content), and MTV; among those channels is a revival of Spike, which had previously folded a year prior. The free channels do not match the feeds received by cable and satellite subscribers; the online versions focus primarily on archival content and series that Pluto TV has acquired from other providers.
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