On January 22, a company that is expected to reunite with CBS Corporation revealed that it had spent $340 million to acquire a free streaming television service serving U.S. consumers.
The deal formally closed prior to the Opening Bell on Wall Street Monday (3/4).
As such, Viacom — home to Bikini Bottom — has now added Pluto TV to its constellation of properties.
“The completion of this deal marks an exciting next step in Viacom’s evolution and a powerful opportunity for us to extend our consumer reach and broaden our ability to add value across the industry as the media landscape continues to segment,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom’s President/CEO. “Together with Pluto TV, we look forward to becoming a stronger partner to distributors, advertisers, content providers and audiences around the world.”
Founded in 2013, Pluto TV streams more than 100 channels and on-demand content spanning television and movies, sports, news, lifestyle, comedy, cartoons, gaming and trending digital series. Viacom reports that it has more than 12 million monthly active users across devices, including smart TVs, streaming players, mobile devices, desktops and gaming consoles.
If Pluto TV is wholly unfamiliar to you, watch out. Viacom says it will have a “crucial role” in expanding Viacom’s presence across next-generation distribution platforms as a standalone free over-the-top (“OTT”) product, a direct-to-consumer cornerstone, and a partnership solution for wired, mobile and OTT distributors to serve their broadband only and video bundle subscribers on a zero incremental cost basis.
At the same time, Pluto TV is seen as an acceleration engine for Viacom’s advanced marketing solutions (AMS) business, serving as a very significant incremental source of targeted inventory – particularly against younger demographics – “thereby strengthening Viacom’s ability to serve advertising customers and their associated agencies.”
Pluto TV will operate as an independent subsidiary of Viacom, led by President and CEO Tom Ryan.
As of 3:11pm Eastern, Viacom’s Class B shares were trading down 8 cents to $29.38.