Viacom to load both free and paid content into Pluto TV once aquisition closes

Viacom CEO Robert Bakish has talked a bit about the future of Pluto TV, which they agreed to acquire for 340 million last month, as reported by TechCrunch. The company plans to use the service to offer content from their vast library for free with ads, as well as offer paid subscriptions for premium content, which would be a first for Pluto TV.

Viacom is making it clear that Pluto TV will be their primary competitor to free ad-supported streaming services like Amazon’s IMDB Freedive and The Roku Channel. They say they’ve purposely avoided large-scale licensing of their content until now and plan to bring it to customers through the Pluto TV apps, once the acquisition closes, which is expected to happen in March. Viacom says that Pluto TV sells less than 50% of its ad inventory, so you can probably expect ads to increase along with the new content being added.

Pluto TV’s current tagline of “It’s Free TV” may be going away, or at least become less accurate, because Viacom plans to offer paid subscriptions for premium content through the app as well. Just as Roku now sells subscriptions through The Roku Channel, Viacom plans to use Pluto TV to take on services like Amazon’s Prime Video Channels by offering paid add-ons for their existing paid products, such as Noggin, Comedy Central Now, and NickHits, which are all already available as Prime Video Channels.

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16 comments
  1. Brett says:

    In true Viacom fashion, they’re gonna F*&! it up.

  2. Tango says:

    Already looking for a replacement app. Any suggestions.

  3. Tampa8 says:

    Ruined as soon as it was bought by Viacom.

  4. Gerard Pinzone (@GerardPinzone) says:

    “Viacom says that Pluto TV sells less than 50% of its ad inventory, so you can probably expect ads to increase along with the new content being added.”

    How the heck could they squeeze more ads in?! I think what they meant is that they have very few different ads that get repeated very often. Now the ads will be more diverse.

  5. Charlie says:

    Does anybody really spend a lot of time watching ads in Pluto TV?

    • Ruth Funstein says:

      I plan my evenings around them. Have you seen that one they played repeatedly last night with the two older ladies? It was hilarious!

      • Charlie says:

        Now, it sounds like listening to talk radio on iHeart radio. There are ads and silly public service announcements that I literally hear eight to ten times a day. It gets kind of maddening when you can quote an ad while listening to it. It’s an extra special treat when they run the same public service announcement you heard dozens of times more than once on the same break.

        To my comment, though, I like dipping into Pluto TV for a little news, but rarely would I watch shows I have to pay for by watching ads. There are just too many choices out there for me to do that.

  6. Charlie says:

    Once again a post of mine doesn’t show after hitting the post button. Strange and not worth spending another five minutes trying to re-create it. Is this a bug?

    • AFTVnews says:

      Sorry about that. My spam filter flagged it for some reason. Clearly, it’s fine, so I just approved it manually. Unfortunately, my spam filter doesn’t indicate why it was flagged, just that it was, so I don’t know what about your comment got it flagged.

    • Tango says:

      I’ve had that happen, too. I copy my comment to the clipboard before I post, that way I can paste it back if something goes wrong. Using Android version of Opera.

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