Viacom buys the free video streaming service Pluto.tv for $340 million

Viacom is bucking the trend of launching brand-new premium subscription-based entertainment offerings with its bid to acquire Pluto TV for $340 million in money.

It’s a path to distribute the company’s once mighty-with-millennial properties like Cartoon Network Nickelodeon (as several commenters have pointed out to me), Comedy Central, MTV and wager to an audience that doesn’t pay for cable and boost the audience and come for its recent acquisitions Awesomeness and Whosay.

Launched in 2013, Pluto TV has built a catalog of titles by licensing movies and television shows from studios as well as content from YouTube and other short-form digital media distributors. The company now offers more than 100 channels from 130 content partners that it distributes to roughly 12 million monthly active users — 7.5 million who access it through connected televisions.

“Today marks an important stride forward in Viacom’s evolution, as we work to move both our company and the industry forward. Pluto TV’s special and marketplace-leading product, combined with Viacom’s brands, content, advanced advertising capabilities and intercontinental scale, creates a fantastic opportunity for consumers, partners and Viacom,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom president and king executive, in a statement. “As the video mart continues to segment, we see an opportunity to aid the ecosystem in creating products at a broad range of price points, including free. To that end, we see significant white space in the ad-supported streaming marketplace and are excited to work with the talented Pluto TV faction, and a broad range of Viacom partners, to speed its growth in the U.S. and all over the world.”

Pluto Tv will operate as a private subsidiary of Viacom and its king executive and co-founder, Tom Ryan, will continue to serve as CEO of the private entity.

“Since our launch less than five years ago, and particularly over the past year, Pluto TV has enjoyed explosive growth and become the category master in free streaming television,” said Pluto TV CEO and co-founder Tom Ryan. “Viacom’s portfolio of intercontinental, iconic brands and IP, advanced advertising leadership and global come will enable Pluto TV to grow even faster and become a major force in streaming TV worldwide. Viacom is the outstanding partner to aid us accomplish our adventure of funning
the planet.”

The deal is also a triumph for Pluto TV’s escapade capital investors. Since its founding, Pluto TV had raised $51.8 million from investors, including USVP, ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Scripps Networks Interactive, atmosphere, United Talent Agency, Luminari Capital, Chicago Ventures, Pritzker team and others.


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