Just over a year ago, Pluto TV was a promising startup with a growing fan base. Now it is one of the centerpieces of a company with the combined resources of Paramount pictures, CBS News and Sports, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and so much more including distribution deals and partnerships with dozens of other content providers. It has apps on every major platform including Smart TVs from Samsung and Vizio, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Apps for MAC computers, Android and IOS. Now its a part of ViacomCBS.
Now there is a big new player in the mix, CBS. Pluto TV users already got a big boost when Viacom bought the company with channels from MTV and Nickelodeon. The ability to possible access content from CBS’s archive could be huge. Heck the logo already kind of looks like the CBS eye.
Simple additions to expect
CBS Sports HQ-Pluto TV has long offered CBSN an Internet-based news service with 24-7 news coverage. Pluto offers a number of sports options including 24-7 broadcast channel stadium. But now with the marriage between the companies one should expect to see the 24-7 sports property from CBS in place ASAP.
CBS archive material
CBS has programming basically mothballed and available almost as a throw in on CBS All-Access. From classic BW material like Gunsmoke to old shows from the 1980’s like Family Ties there are a number of titles that get lost behind the new original programing that CBS pushes with the service like Star Trek Discovery and the new Twighlight Zone. We expect some of the older fare like Taxi and others to end up on Pluto where it can be monetized and viewed by as many as 18 million users who access the free service. That’s far more than CBS All-Access has at the moment. Or they would have already said so. Instead we get the combined numbers between CBS and Showtime with projections of what the future should look like. Anything without a streaming deal in place could well end up on the free service. It would also be a nice place to make some money back on pilots and series that never really took off. Plus when agreements with Netflix or Hulu are up CBS could drop programming onto the service as well.
Lots of ads for CBS All-Access
CBS is going to push its programming on Pluto TV. Make no doubt. If you are tuning into the Tech + Geek channels or the Binge Watch sections of Pluto you better believe you will hear about Discovery or Picard. There may be special offers for the service via links from Pluto’s app on some platforms.
More NFL and NCAA related programming
Pluto TV is known for its tightly curated thematic channels. CBS pays a great deal of money for the rights to the NFL and NCAA sports packages it offers on its OTA network. If it has a new platform to get people hyped to tune in to their local CBS station why wouldn’t it use it to promote The NCAA tournament, NFL Football, Alabama Football etc. Oh, it will. Expect NFL news channels, NCAA Basketball and College football news to be readily available once things are in place. The programming will probably not be made for Pluto TV, but it will feature segments from anything that they can have the rights to show. Features from Sunday shows, Previews for upcoming games and so on. Doesn’t an NCAA Buzzer beaters 24-7 channel sound right up Pluto’s alley?
Overall the whole story will take some time to play out. But you can be sure that the ad-supported platform will not be the ignored stepchild here. Ad-suppported streaming options are much more likely the future of the medium as people are not likely to subscribe to 8 services to watch this show or that.