Viacom, home to Nickelodeon and MTV Networks, entered an agreement to acquire Pluto TV, a free streaming TV service. The move comes as Viacom looks to strengthen its direct-to-consumer model and leverage its library across developing over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
Pluto TV is already the No. 2 free app on Roku, with more than 100 live linear channels and more than 5,000 hours of video on demand VOD from more than 130 content partners, including Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures. The service reaches more than 12 million monthly active users, functioning much like traditional ad-supported television, but delivered to nearly any device from smartphones and tablets, to computers, game consoles, and smart TVs.
Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish sent a memo to employees this week detailing the outlook for the future. It included the following video, “The Power of Pluto TV.”
Pluto TV includes a variety of kids and family content, in addition to the Viacom-owned channel, AwesomenessTV. Among the benefits to owning a free-to-consumer streaming service, Bakish notes the tremendous opportunity to distribution partners and for promoting Viacom content and brands that live elsewhere. This includes including theatrical, pay TV, consumer products, and subscription services such as the preschool-focused Noggin.