Pluto TV may not be the most heralded of streaming services, but it offers quite a lot of worthwhile content, for free. The ad-supported channel, launched in 2013 and owned by ViacomCBS since early 2019, Pluto TV offers a series of more than 200 linear channels, which resemble traditional television, and had 24 million active users as of the company's most recent earnings announcement.
Now, Pluto TV is getting a huge amount of new content.
According to Deadline, Pluto TV later this month will add 40 shows, all from the family of ViacomCBS. They include "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Survivor," "Beverly Hills 90210, MacGyver, and numerous other shows. The deal will also include the first ten seasons of "South Park," although the entire run of that show is streaming on HBO Max, following a deal earlier this year.
"Pluto TV is the leading free streaming television service in America and is distinguished by both the quantity and quality of its content,” Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, told Deadline. “Pluto TV is one of the broadest and deepest streaming services in the world, and guaranteed to offer something for everyone, on any device, for free.”
Although it involves ViacomCBS shows coming to a ViacomCBS-owned service, the move represents another shift in the company's streaming strategy, following the completion last year of Viacom and CBS' re-merger.
The company said earlier this spring that it's looking at reimagining CBS All Access, its existing, five-year-old streaming service, and the home of multiple original "Star Trek" TV shows. A rebrand, the company said, will come later this year, followed by a relaunch, and international expansion, and CBS has added a long list of popular Paramount movies to the service, including "The Godfather" and its sequels.
ViacomCBS also announced a deal to bring its channels, including MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, to YouTube TV, although the move led that service to announce a price increase.
Viacom and Dish Network, also this week, announced an extension to their carriage agreement.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.