|Type of business||Subsidiary|
Type of site
|Founded||August 1, 2013|
|Parent|| Independent (2013–2019)|
ViacomCBS Streaming (2019–present)
|Users||52 million monthly active users (as of August 5,2021 [update] )|
|Launched||March 31, 2014|
Pluto TV is a U.S. internet television service owned and operated by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.Co-founded by Tom Ryan, Ilya Pozin and Nick Grouf in 2013 and based in Los Angeles, California, Pluto is an advertiser-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service that primarily offers a selection of programming content through digital linear channels designed to emulate the experience of traditional broadcast programming. The service's revenue is generated from video advertisements seen during programming within ad breaks structured similarly to those found on conventional television.
Pluto TV licenses its content directly from providers, and as of March 2020 has deals with 170 content partners providing more than 250 channels and 100,000 unique hours worth of programming.Its content is available via its website and supported apps. As of August 2021, the service has 52 million monthly active users.
Pluto TV launched its beta website on March 31, 2014. Co-founded by Thomas V. Ryan (former Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy at EMI and co-founder of now-defunct digital music retailer CDuctive), Ilya Pozin (founder and former CEO of venture builder firm Coplex) and Nick Grouf (co-founder and managing director of venture capital firm Alpha Edison), it was originally developed to provide curated channels of existing online content, offering a slate of nearly 100 categorized channels featuring content aggregated from various video-sharing platforms (including YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion) as well as additional content provided through partnerships with original web content services and television networks (including Funny or Die, QVC, Refinery29, RocketJump and TYT Network).The service was originally owned by Pluto Inc., which, during the second half of 2013 and early 2014, had raised $13 million in series A funding from investors that included Universal Music Group, Sky plc, UTA Ventures, and venture capital firms U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), QueensBridge Venture Partners, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Luminari Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital and Chicago Ventures. On May 14, 2014, Pluto unveiled a digital video recorder feature on its website known as "myPluto"; users could “record” content by clicking a “save show” button that would archive content from the channel as it played.
On July 1, 2015, Pluto TV announced it had signed a deal with Hulu to distribute the ad-supported video content, available for free on Hulu's website at the time, including current-season episodes of programs from ABC, NBC and Fox, recent and older classic television series, and domestic and foreign animated programs. Under the arrangement, Hulu handled advertising for content made available through the Pluto website. Separately, in the weeks preceding the Hulu deal, Pluto TV had reached content agreements with AOL, Endemol Beyond USA, Shout! Factory, Jukin Media and YouTube content channels Devin SuperTramp, Multicom, Around the World in 4K and Amazing Places on Our Planet to distribute their programming on the service.In October 2015, 20 additional channels (featuring content from AwesomenessTV, IGN, Cracked, DHX Media, Just For Laughs, Newsy, Legendary Digital Networks and The Onion) were brought onto the service's lineup, bringing the total number of curated channels offered by Pluto to around 120.
On May 15, 2016, Pluto TV signed an agreement with Sony to make the Pluto TV app available on the PlayStation Store for download by users of the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. In 2016, Pluto Inc. raised $30 million in series B venture capital funding from ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Scripps Networks Interactive, and venture capital firms Luminari Capital, Chicago Ventures and Third Wave Ventures, valuing the company at $140 million. The round was led by German television network ProSieben, with additional funding from telecommunications company Sky UK.On April 30, 2017, Pluto Inc. added a chief programming officer role, appointing Robert Magdlen—who formerly served as senior vice president of program strategy and acquisitions for E! and as a production executive for TNT—in the post, handling responsibilities for programming and channel development from the company's Los Angeles headquarters.
On May 15, 2017, Pluto TV launched a traditional video-on-demand offering, composing a large library of movies and television shows licensed from such distributors as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Viacom, Sony Pictures, DHX Media, Nelvana, Fremantle, Monstercat and King Features Syndicate that are made available for individual viewing to Pluto users. as of May 2017 [update] , the service was averaging 6 million users per month, and, as of October 2017 [update] , it was rated one of the most-watched apps on Roku.Variety reported that
By October 2017, Pluto TV reached over 15 million users. On October 17 of that year, Pluto TV announced it received a $5-million investment from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation as part of an $8.3 million round of funding raised by various investors.On March 15, 2018, Pluto TV entered into a partnership with SpotX to provide advertising monetization services for Pluto, including engendering sales from media buyers breaking into over-the-top content services. On August 1, 2018, Vizio launched a new ad-supported streaming platform powered by Pluto TV, called WatchFree. This service is built into several models of Vizio's line of Internet-connected smart TVs, particularly those supporting its SmartCast operating system, and is advertised as having "an easy-to-navigate, cable-like interface".
On October 1, 2018, Pluto TV expanded into Europe with the launch of a platform on Sky's Now TV service in the United Kingdom, offering an initial slate of more than 12 curated channels.Also in October 2018, Pluto TV picked Tru Optik to help with advertising inventory. On December 4, 2018, Pluto TV launched a regional service in Germany and Austria, also through a separate collaborative agreement with Sky, with the app's content made available initially via the Sky TV stick; the German/Austrian service initially incorporated a slate of 15 streaming channels (composed of both Pluto-exclusive services with German and English language content as well as channels compiled by third-party content providers).
On January 22, 2019, Viacom announced its intention to acquire Pluto for $340 million.Viacom's plans for Pluto TV included using the service as a marketing tool for its portfolio of linear media brands (including incorporating more licensed content from Viacom-owned properties) and to serve as a distribution outlet for its in-house digital content brands (including CBSN, AwesomenessTV and CNET), expanding the service into Latin America, and expanding its distribution on smart TVs. The company also planned to use the service to upsell its subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) properties (including Paramount+, Showtime, Noggin and the then-upcoming BET+) directly to consumers. The deal was completed on March 4, 2019. On March 18, 2019, Viacom—through its Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) unit—announced plans to launch Pluto TV worldwide; VIMN President James Currell stated that the company believed the global SVOD sector was "becoming too crowded and capital intensive," choosing to focus on building scale through ad-supported streaming platforms.
On May 1, 2019, Pluto introduced branded channels based on Viacom Media Networks-owned cable outlets and other Viacom properties, including content from Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, Logo, TV Land and MTV. Among those channels is a revival of Spike, which had been relaunched as Paramount Network in January 2018. The free channels are not simulcasts of their namesake networks, as contractual restrictions with traditional pay television providers prevent it from distributing the full linear feeds, but instead focus primarily on archival content and series that Pluto TV has acquired from other content providers.Some of these branded services are direct offshoots of their linear counterparts, while others (such as CMT Cheer 24/7, TV Land Sitcoms, TV Land Drama, MTV Teen, VH1 I Love Reality, and Nickelodeon offshoots Dora TV and Totally Turtles ) maintain theme formats offering speciality programming owned by ViacomCBS and other program library partners.
On June 13, 2019, Pluto TV was launched on Comcast's Xfinity X1 cable boxes.On July 1, 2019, the service launched a Spanish language programming tier, Pluto TV Latino, consisting initially of eleven Spanish and Portuguese-language channels (including two sports-focused channels, Lucha Libre and Combate World, that were previously assigned to the service's main sports tier) that incorporate programming originally produced natively in those languages and Spanish-dubbed versions of English and Portuguese programs.
On August 13, 2019, National Amusements announced that Viacom and CBS Corporation—which had split into two separate companies in 2005, five years after the original Viacom first acquired CBS's assets—would recombine their assets into a singular entity to be named ViacomCBS in a deal valued at up to $15.4 billion.Following the announcement, Deadline Hollywood , citing sources within the company, identified Pluto TV as a potential outlet for CBS streaming content. Pluto already carried CBS's free online news service CBSN, and technology and video-game-oriented CNET Video. Additional channels from CBS, including CBSN Local's New York and Los Angeles services and an Entertainment Tonight -branded entertainment news channel (ET Live), were added to the service on November 13, 2019, prior to the merger's closure.
In September 2019, Pluto TV became available on mobile platforms in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; the service first became available in those countries on iOS and Apple TV devices on September 6, and on Android devices on September 24.By November 2019, the service was estimated to have 20 million monthly active users.
On February 3, 2020, ViacomCBS announced that Pluto TV would launch in Latin America at the end of March, offering 17 channels available in Spanish and Portuguese at launch; additional channels would be added on a monthly basis with more than 80 channels expected to be available by the end of 2020. Along with content carried by ViacomCBS Networks International-owned local versions of its corporate parent's U.S. media properties, co-owned Argentinian network Telefe and Porta dos Fundos would also provide content for the Latin American service.The service was expected to launch in Brazil in December 2020, but was anticipated and was launched on November 17, 2020.
On February 20, 2020, ViacomCBS estimated that Pluto TV generated a monthly average of 22 million viewers in the fourth quarter of 2019, with expectations of its user base reaching 30 million monthly viewers by December 2020. The company also announced that Pluto content would be incorporated into a revamped version of CBS All Access, which would also add content from ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks cable properties, Paramount Pictures and CBS Television Distribution. ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish stated that Pluto TV—which will remain a free, standalone offering—would be part of the company's refocusing on three core streaming services, alongside the subscription-based CBS All Access and Showtime's OTT service, which would act as its mid-level and premium offerings and which Pluto will also be used to upsell along with ViacomCBS's other niche streaming platforms.
In January 2020, Pluto TV unveiled a new logo at CES 2020, and later unveiled a redesign of its Apple iOS apps, which included a new channel guide and on-demand menu interface.The redesigned interface—absent the new logo—was rolled out to the website and desktop app the following day on February 21, its Roku app on February 26, and Android devices and other platforms on March 2.
On July 9, 2020, the service launched an app for Virgin Media customers in the UK.
On October 8, 2020, ViacomCBS announced it will launch Pluto TV in Spain, Italy and France, with 40 channels and thousands of hours of on-demand content.
On July 17, 2021, Pluto TV added several new channels including News 12 New York, Pluto TV Home, and Professional Bull Riders’ Ride Pass.A deal made between Pluto TV and PBR allowed for Pluto TV to be the exclusive home to Ride Pass content.
Pluto TV is structured similarly to the traditional cable television model, offering its content as designated channels categorized by program content type into multiple channel categories:
As of August 2021, Pluto TV carries over 200 channels, packaging content acquired through various content syndication deals, as well as programming from ViacomCBS's internal libraries. Traditional television channels whose feeds are carried directly on Pluto include Court TV, NASA TV, Discovery Channel, CNN (plus sister network HLN, HBO and Cartoon Network), WeatherNation TV, Buzzr, Newsmax TV, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (and sister network Hillsong Channel), Fox News (and sister network Fox Business), Euronews, Bloomberg Television, Sky News (plus sister network CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network, Syfy and E!), Professional Bull Riders’ Ride Pass, Eleven Sports (albeit with some events replaced with alternative programming due to streaming rights restrictions), Stadium and TheBlaze.AVOD services whose feeds are carried on Pluto include Nosey, NBC News Now, ABC News Live, Cheddar News, TYT Network, and People TV. In addition, Pluto also offers “pop-up channels," which maintain binge-viewing or specialty programming formats that operate on a temporary or open-ended basis.
Pluto TV content can be streamed through a number of desktop, mobile and internet-connected TV platforms, including: Android and Apple iOS/iPadOS devices, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Vizio SmartCast, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, webOS, Chromecast, Virgin Media and macOS and Windows computers.Pluto-operated channels are also offered through The Roku Channel's live TV section.
Outside of the United States, Pluto TV and its apps are currently available in Europe and Latin America. Pluto is also available in countries such as Canada, but only in a limited capacity due to existing program rights held by domestic broadcasters.
Showtime is an American premium television network owned by ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, and is the flagship property of parent subsidiary under its Premium Content Group unit, Showtime Networks. Showtime's programming primarily includes theatrically released motion pictures and original television series, along with boxing and mixed martial arts matches, occasional stand-up comedy specials, and made-for-TV movies.
ViacomCBS Streaming is an American media division of ViacomCBS that oversees the operations of its streaming services and Internet brands. It is an online content network for information and entertainment. Its websites and apps cover entertainment, news and sports. It is headed by Tom Ryan, Pluto TV's co-founder.
My5 is the brand name of video-on-demand services offered by Channel 5 in the United Kingdom. The service went live on 26 June 2008.
Xumo is an American over-the-top internet television service owned by telecommunications conglomerate Comcast. Founded in 2011 as a joint venture between the Viant Technology subsidiary of Meredith Corporation and Panasonic, Xumo is a free, advertising video on demand (AVOD) service that primarily offers a selection of programming content through digital linear channels designed to emulate the experience of traditional television programming, and supported by revenue generated from video advertisements inserted into the service's programming streams in designated conventional television-styled commercial breaks.
YouTube TV is an American streaming television service that offers live TV, on demand video and cloud-based DVR from more than 85 television networks, including the Big Four broadcast networks and PBS in most markets. It is owned by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, itself a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.
Epix is an American premium cable and satellite television network owned by Epix Entertainment LLC, a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). The channel's programming consists of recent and older theatrically released motion pictures, original television series, documentaries, and music and comedy specials.
HBO Go is an international TV Everywhere video on demand streaming service offered by the American premium cable network HBO for customers outside the United States. It allowed HBO subscribers to stream selections of HBO content, including current and past series, films, specials, and sporting events, through either the HBO website, or apps on mobile devices, video game consoles, and digital media players. The service first launched on February 18, 2010.
FilmRise is a New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, which has become one of the largest independent providers of content to ad-supported streaming (AVOD) platforms, in addition to providing the largest free direct to consumer service with its 22-owned and operated streaming channels, the “FilmRise Streaming Network.” Currently, the FilmRise Streaming Network has reported more than 31.5 million downloads in the U.S. and can be seen on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Comcast, iOS, Android and Apple, among other platforms. FilmRise also syndicates its own digital linear channels to platforms including The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Amazon's IMDb TV and Vizio.
CBSN is a streaming video news channel operated by the CBS News and ViacomCBS Streaming divisions of ViacomCBS, which launched on November 6, 2014 in order to provide live streaming world news. CBSN is designed primarily as an online-oriented service; it is distributed solely through the cbsnews.com website, mobile apps, and via apps for digital media player devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, PlayStation Now, Pluto TV, FuboTV, Roku, and Samsung's TV Plus, rather than traditional platforms such as broadcast television or cable. Since September 21, 2015, some CBSN segments are repurposed on the CBS television network as part of CBS Overnight News.
PlayStation Vue was an American streaming television service that was owned by the Sony Interactive Entertainment subdivision of the Sony Corporation of America division of Sony. Launched with a limited major-market rollout on March 18, 2015, the service – which was structured in the style of a multichannel video programming distributor – combined live TV, on-demand video, and cloud-based DVR to stream television programs, movies, and sporting events directly to a PlayStation console or other supported device – including smart TVs, digital media players and apps – without a subscription to a cable or satellite television provider. Targeting cord cutters, PlayStation Vue was designed to complement subscription video-on-demand services. As of August 26, 2018, the service had approximately 745,000 subscribers. On October 29, 2019, Sony announced PlayStation Vue would be ending service on January 30, 2020, because "the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected".
Sling TV is an American streaming television service operated by Sling TV LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dish Network. Unveiled on January 5, 2015, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the virtual multichannel video programming distributor aims to complement subscription video on demand services for cord cutters, offering a selection of major cable channels and OTT-originated services that can be streamed through smart TVs, digital media players and apps. The service is available in the United States and Puerto Rico as of 2015.
Buzzr is an American digital broadcast television network owned by Fremantle North America, a unit of the Fremantle subsidiary of RTL Group. The network serves as an outlet for the extensive library of classic game shows owned by Fremantle. Buzzr marks Fremantle's entry into North American television broadcasting; parent company RTL currently operates numerous TV channels in Europe.
HBO Now was an American subscription video on demand streaming service for premium television network HBO owned by WarnerMedia subsidiary Home Box Office, Inc. Officially unveiled on March 9 and launched on April 7, 2015 the service allows subscribers on-demand access to HBO's library of original programs, films and other content on personal computers, smartphones, tablet devices and digital media players. Unlike HBO Go, HBO's online video on demand service for existing subscribers of the linear television channel, HBO Now was available as a standalone service and does not require a television subscription to use, targeting cord cutters who use competing services such as Netflix and Hulu. As of February 2018, HBO Now had 5 million subscribers.
Paramount+ is an American-owned global subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned and operated by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS. It offers original and library content from the CBS, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, MTV, VH1, Showtime, and BET broadcast properties as well as the Paramount Pictures library.
Philo is an American internet television company currently based in San Francisco, California, that was first founded at Harvard University in 2010 by Tuan Ho and Nicholas Krasney. Investors in the company include HBO, Andrew McCollum, and Mark Cuban. The company and its service is named in honor for one of the pioneering engineers of television, Philo T. Farnsworth.
FuboTV Inc. is an American, Canadian and Spanish streaming television service that focuses primarily on channels that distribute live sports, including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, CPL and international soccer, plus news, network television series and movies.
Cheddar Inc. is a live streaming financial news network founded by Jon Steinberg in the United States. Cheddar broadcasts live daily from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq, the Flatiron Building in New York City, and the White House lawn and briefing room in Washington, D.C. covering new products, technologies, and services.
Stirr is an American ad-supported video streaming service owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Peacock is an American over-the-top video streaming service owned and operated by the Television and Streaming division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. Named after the NBC logo, the service launched on July 15, 2020. The service primarily shows content from NBCUniversal studios and other third-party content providers, including television series, films, news, and sports programming. The service is available in a free ad-supported version with limited content, while premium tiers include a larger content library and access to additional NBC Sports and WWE Network content.
StackTV is a Canadian subscription video streaming package offered by Corus Entertainment through Amazon's Prime Video Channels. It was announced on June 3, 2019, and launched shortly thereafter for Amazon Prime subscribers.