The Current State of Pluto TV

Pluto TV was established in 2013 by Ilya Pozin, Tom Ryan, and Nick Grouf. It is famous for AVOD or advertiser-supported Video On Demand service.

The service provider was performing quite well during its initial stage, and its popularity even increased tremendously. It became famous when ViacomCBS took over Pluto TV in 2019.

This leading free-to-stream TV service offers more than 250 live channels, as well as hundreds of on-demand movies and TV shows. It does all that from partnerships with leading movie studios, digital media companies, publishers, and TV networks.

Pluto TV has a robust global footprint, including Europe. Also, in March 2020, it extended its services to Latin America. 

The best thing about its service is that it is completely free. However, you will have to deal with many commercial breaks while watching your favorite shows. 

Some of the major content providers of Pluto TV are various Viacom properties. These include Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon. You’ll also find leading news channels such as CNN, CBS, NBS, and more.

While earning good revenue, Pluto TV is now competing with other leading video-content aggregators, such as Tubi TV, Roku TV, etc.

Current Business Model of Pluto TV

As mentioned above, Pluto TV follows the ad-supported video-on-demand service model. That means that all its revenues are generated through commercials.

Users don’t have to pay to watch shows or use the service. They don’t even need to go for any sign-up process. Just switch to it, and the selected channel will run right away.

How Pluto TV Makes Their Revenue

You might be wondering how the company generates its profit or revenue despite providing free service. Here’s how:

It is entirely ad-supported, and you’ll always encounter commercials while watching movies or TV shows. You may have to watch 2-4 minutes of ads before the content starts. Additionally, you may encounter ads while flipping the channels.  

Even though it can hamper your experience, the company is getting good revenue from these ads. It may be noted that in September 2019, around 35,000 brands advertised on Pluto TV. 

These adverts helped the company to witness its highest revenue month. In 2018 before its acquisition by Viacom, Pluto TV registered $70 million of revenue. It is now continually growing.

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Source: Digital News Network

With time, Pluto TV has also witnessed increased viewing minutes. It added a few new CBS channels like ET Live, CBSN Los Angeles, and CBSN New York. It added them to increase their revenue. 

Pluto TV is now convincing more numbers of advertisers to deploy their dollars. In 2019, it witnessed around $150 million of revenue through digital advertising.

Pluto TV Subscription Base

As per the report, it witnessed more than 22 million active subscribers in 2019. These subscribers are 75% more than its subscriber base recorded in the year 2018.

On the other hand, ViacomCBS has forecasted that, by the end of 2020, Pluto TV would surpass 30 million subscribers. The reason behind this will provide its major streaming platforms like Showtime and CBS All Access.

It may be noted that Showtime and CBS All Access combinedly have 11 million+ paid subscribers. However, the company is projected that it will increase to 16 million in 2020. 

Netflix currently has more than 61 million subscribers from the US compared to Pluto TV. Netflix has 167 million subscribers globally.

Most of Pluto’s subscribers are from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. However, it is now expanding its services to Latin America, Australia, and Canada.

Besides, its Noggin and Paramount Plus channels have also started covering more teprritories. This expansion of services will further increase its subscriber base. 

Almost half of its audience are young adults who are 18 to 34 years old. The company believes that offering more free services can establish more value for this particular consumer group. 

Currently, it is getting around 78.43% of the audience from the United States and Mexico. It receives 5.21% of visits. 

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Source: Similar Web

In June 2020, Pluto TV witnessed around 9.37 million total visits. 


What You Get by Subscribing to Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers different types of content through more than 250 cost-free live streaming channels. It also offers users on-demand TV series as well as movies. 

Pluto TV covers various categories such as Featured, Entertainment, Movies, News, Binge-watch, Sports, Comedy, Life Style, Kids, Music, Explore, etc. 

Regarding some major channels that viewers can watch, they are Fox Sports, Stadium, RedBull TV VH1, ET Live, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, NASA TV, Bloomberg Television, Sky News, and more. 

In May 2020, it added The Walking Dead’s first five seasons. Apart from this, it also offers some popular on-demand movies and TV shows. For example, viewers can watch Basic Instinct, American Beauty, King of New York, Black Snake Moan, The Dead Zone, etc.  

Pluto TV doesn’t offer any original content. Even though it is not focusing on its original creation, it has some licensing content from around 75 providers. 

Fierce Competition

Pluto TV, with its free TV streaming services, is now competing with Roku TV and Tubi TV. 

Roku TV

This leading free TV streaming service is developed for viewers who have Roku’s streaming products. However, the services can also be streamed through PC and mobile phones.

You can steam a lot of things on Roku TV. It offers movies, original series, kids shows, sports, news, TV shows, and more. 

Some of the popular paid and free channels are Netflix, Rakuten TV, Happy Kids, Google Play, etc. It also supports Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Apple TV app, and more.

In June 2020, Roku TV witnessed around 14.7 million total visits globally, and around 84.92% are from the United States. 


Source: Similar Web

Tubi TV

This platform is quite famous for offering amazing movies and TV shows for free. You can watch great content from well-known studios like MGM, Lionsgate, Paramount, and more. Tubi TV works like Pluto TV –  by displaying ads.

It covers various categories like Action, Anime, Classics, Comedy, Documentary, Family Movies, Horror, Kids Shows, Music & Musical, Romance, and more. It also covers Cult classics, Weekly watchlist, Bollywood Dreams, etc.

Tubi TV now has around 13.9 million monthly visitors. 79.80% of them are from the US.

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Source: Similar Web


How Pluto TV Beats Its Competitors

In 2019, Pluto added more than 43 new channels, and around 50% of them are from Viacom. Besides, it’s also covering more languages like Portuguese and Spanish to attract more viewers. 

Furthermore, Viacom is now planning to join with Netflix to offer children’s content through Nickelodeon. Viacom has obtained a license from Paramount movies to stream their content. 

Pluto’s content has been revamped since 2019. It currently offers Viacom CBS Domestic Media Networks cable properties, CBS channels, and Paramount Pictures content.

On the other hand, it is also focusing on third-party content. In 2019, it added a James Bond movie channel, an NFL channel, a gaming channel, and around 22 Spanish channels. Pluto is now employing a something-for-everyone approach.

Competitive Advantages 

Even though Pluto TV faces tough competition, it has managed to maintain a competitive advantage in the industry. The linear-first programming strategy is the thing that makes it different from others. 

Besides, it also has the distribution advantage as it is constrained to only Viacom’s operating platform. Furthermore, it’s a free-to-watch service that will keep Pluto earning decent revenue in the future.

Conclusion: Long and Short-Term Plans

Even though Viacom has brought Pluto TV, it will still function as an independent subsidiary. Pluto TV  has been enjoying a tremendous growth result. 

It can be said that it is capable of becoming the king of the free streaming industry. On the other hand, Viacom’s business model, advanced advertising leadership, and global reach will further help Pluto TV to grow.  

In 2020’s first quarter, Viacom invested around $30 million to effectively promote its new users’ interface. Since Viacom’s funding, Pluto TV has raised around $51.8 million from various investors, like United Talent Agency, Scripps Networks Interactive, etc. Source

Pluto TV will continue to serve as Viacom’s marketing platform. They recently launched products like Nick Hits, Noggin, Comedy Central, etc., attracting more viewers. 

Additionally, it has more than 30 distribution partnerships, like PlayStation, Xbox, Fire TV, Roku, and more, to deliver its content to a massive audience base. 

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