Earlier this year Viacom purchased Pluto TV for $340 million. Very quickly, Viacom started to add content from MTV, Spike, Comedy Central and more. Now Viacom expects to complete its merger with CBS in December of 2019. So what does this mean for the free streaming service Pluto TV? Will it still be free? Let’s take a look.
Many have worried that Pluto TV would become a paid service under Viacom. But have no fear, Viacom’s CEO has even made it clear that even after Viacom takes ownership of CBS All Access, Pluto TV will stay free.
“Now that we can bring them together, we can bring people in through the free service and some will only stay in free. Others we will have the opportunity to upsell them to the pay product. We can return them to the free eco-system if they decide to pause and re-market to them when their situation changes. We think that is a powerful idea,” said Viacom’s CEO Bob Bakish at the Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia Investor Conference earlier this year.
From the sounds of it, Pluto TV will be used to help drive paid subscribers to CBS All Access. You can easily see how Viacom CBS would put early seasons of popular shows for free on Pluto TV or maybe even a few episodes of a new show. From there if you want to see more you can subscribe to CBS All Access to continue watching.
Viacom has already been using Pluto TV to try and get viewers to see new Viacom movies. Recently a 24/7 Dora the Explorer channel launched in time to promote the new Dora the Explorer movie. Viacom is also using Pluto TV to promote the new James Bond movie launching next year with a 24/7 007 channel.
The good news is if you enjoy Pluto TV it’s not going anywhere. The only question now is what CBS content will be coming to the free streaming services. We will have to wait and see.