Jul 08, 2020

By ViacomCBS staff
Leading the FAST revolution by connecting content, curation and audience at planetary scale.

This piece was originally posted in Variety's special report, "Life in the FAST Lane." To view the full report, click here.

Pluto TV launched with an ambitious mission: to entertain the planet. At the time, the industry viewed its strategy with skepticism. Pluto TV’s ad-supported linear-programming model was seen as contrarian and retro compared to the subscription-only future predicted by on-demand heavyweights. But now, as consumer habits shift and the digital marketplace becomes increasingly crowded, Pluto TV is leading the FAST revolution.

The Power of TV With the Measurement of Digital

Pluto TV offers a combination that’s rare in the streaming digital market: human curation, premium programming, commitment-free discovery and scale. 

For audiences, Pluto TV is a shortcut to the content they love. Its massive library includes hundreds of channels and thousands of on-demand movies and shows—all populated with iconic IP from trusted entertainment and sports brands. It’s also incredibly easy to use, with a scrolling guide of channels that makes discovery a joy. Just drop in, lean back and start watching—while your dinner's still warm.

"For audiences, Pluto TV is a shortcut to the content they love... For advertisers, it’s a path forward. It offers the scale of traditional television with the efficient targeting of digital in a brand-safe environment."

For advertisers, it’s a path forward. It offers the scale of traditional television with the efficient targeting of digital in a brand-safe environment. And it’s growing fast—its user base increased 55% year-over-year, in part thanks to, distribution partnerships with key players in the space like Samsung, Xbox, Vizio and Verizon. These deals, along with Pluto TV’s ubiquitous distribution across Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android™ and others, make buying premium video inventory across ecosystems easy.

“When we launched Pluto TV, we wanted to take what had always been great about traditional TV and modernize it for the streaming era, making it more entertaining and accessible for viewers and more targetable and measurable for advertisers,” says Tom Ryan, CEO of Pluto TV. “We pioneered the category and are now the leading free streaming television service in America.  We’re committed to extending our lead in the U.S. as well as becoming the global category leader in the years ahead.”

A Channel For Every Audience

Pluto TV’s 100,000+ hours of ad-supported content—programmed by a team of curators with the passion of fans and the knowledge of experts—mean it has something for every audience. Iconic seasons of The Walking Dead are available alongside channels for classic episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Addams Family and Forensic Files. For comedy enthusiasts, there are channels devoted to sitcoms, movies and stand-up; for sports fans, timeless games are available on channels from the Major League Soccer, NFL and the PGA TOUR. At any time of day, audiences can tune in to live top news feeds from CBS News, Cheddar and Bloomberg Media, or enjoy topical clips from CNN. There’s even content for nostalgic millennials including after-school favorites of yesteryear like Hey Arnold! and Degrassi.  

With this much content and zero cost comes a diverse audience that content owners and advertisers can’t always reach with traditional TV. Pluto TV is also the largest FAST platform with 24 million monthly active users—a number that’s expected to climb to 30 million before year-end. 

As Pluto TV’s audience grows, its brand-safe environment is especially valuable since demand is increasing—digital video ad spend in the U.S. is predicted to double to more than $70 billion by 2024—yet there are few ad-supported platforms that provide premium digital inventory and targeting at scale. It’s also a major component of the streaming video advertising portfolio of ViacomCBS, its parent company, which includes CBS All Access and reaches 50 million full episode viewers per month—a reach that’s comparable to Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. 

"With this much content and zero cost comes a diverse audience that content owners and advertisers can’t always reach with traditional TV. Pluto TV is also the largest FAST platform with 24 million monthly active users—a number that’s expected to climb to 30 million before year-end. "

“Pluto TV is the ideal destination for marketers looking for incremental reach with full measurement capabilities and transparency, on a medium they know and love,” states Harold Morgenstern, SVP and Head of National Advertising Sales, Pluto TV. “With so much curated content, there are infinite opportunities to deliver meaningful campaigns and awareness to millions of customers.”

Because Pluto TV is a dynamic digital platform, advertisers can create custom integrations and support entire pop-up channels. For example, last year one of the largest toy manufacturers integrated its brand into a Christmas pop-up channel dedicated to family-friendly holiday movies. A major quick service restaurant wanted to introduce a U.S. Hispanic audience to a new delivery partnership so it advertised across Pluto TV Latino, a category that now includes over 20 linear channels. A top automotive manufacturer sponsored “Curiosity Week,” a series on Pluto TV’s documentary channel that highlighted stories of big ideas. 

What’s more, audiences appreciate the brand messaging on Pluto TV, and not just because it ensures they have access to quality content at no cost. In fact, in a survey last year, respondents said Pluto TV ads were the most enjoyable, memorable and relevant compared to other leading ad-supported streaming platforms. 

Leading a FAST Future

At its launch, Pluto TV’s mission centered around the industry’s need for accessible entertainment. Now, years later, that need is even more pronounced. As audiences assemble their streaming bundles and advertisers look for incremental reach and measurable spend, the power of Pluto TV’s library of free and premium content remains unchallenged. 

“Pluto TV is constantly innovating and improving to make the viewing experience more frictionless and dynamic, across all platforms and for all audiences,” says Ryan. “But all of our efforts are driven by our love of TV. We want to ensure that generations of audiences will continue to be able to watch great content for free. It’s a very traditional idea—as old as the television industry itself—delivered in an intensely modern way.”

 

Sources

  1. ViacomCBS: Pluto User Exploration, April 2019; n=1,012 Pluto users, 13-54

 

 


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