Three months after buying Pluto TV for $340 million, Viacom is putting curated, VOD-centric versions of its most popular networks on the free-to-consumer AVOD platform.
Starting Wednesday, the ad-supported, free-to-consumer streaming platform will host “specially curated versions” of BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. These channels, of course, aren’t the full, live, linear feeds that underpin Viacom’s pay TV licensing contracts. But they include some of the networks’ popular shows. On Roku, for example, the curated Comedy Central channel includes on-demand access to all seasons of popular shows including The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Tosh.0.
Also notable: the Spike TV brand, which was transformed into the Paramount Network in 2018, will re-emerge among the stable of Viacom channels on Pluto TV.
Viacom will also launch themed channels built by linear Viacom content, such as “CMT Westerns,” “Comedy Central Standup” and “MTV Dating.” Also debuting will be so-called “pop-up channels,” which will support binge-viewing opportunities for shows such as The Hills.
“As we’ve been telling you for sometime, we’ve been focused on developing a differentiated direct-to-consumer streaming service that would exploit our considerable content library and leverage our unique advertiser capabilities and relationships. Pluto TV fits squarely into that strategy,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told investment analysts in February, signaling his conglomerate’s move to use Pluto TV as an OTT distribution hub.
Added Pluto TV CEO Tom Ryan in today’s statement. “Viacom has been entertaining audiences for decades with evergreen content that is bold, daring and inspires worldwide fandom. These channels are guaranteed to provide endless entertainment to both new and existing Pluto TV viewers.”