Viacom Purchases Pluto.TV (1 Viewer)

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Zookster

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Dec 19, 2004
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If you read the article, it seems the whole point of Viacom's acquisition was to get into the free ad-supported content space, not destroy it.

“As the video marketplace continues to segment, we see an opportunity to support the ecosystem in creating products at a broad range of price points, including free. To that end, we see significant white space in the ad-supported streaming market and are excited to work with the talented Pluto TV team, and a broad range of Viacom partners, to accelerate its growth in the U.S. and all over the world.”
A major media company like Viacom can probably get much better advertisers and price per ad than Pluto could. They'll undoubtedly also collect data on viewing habits. So there's profit to be had there. They can also add some of its own content to the service, even if its just back catalog, and drive people to paid add-on content. Lots of ways Viacom can monetize a platform like Pluto without destroying its core free offerings. Not to mention, it will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary.
 
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TNGuy84

SatelliteGuys Family
May 27, 2018
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Tennessee
I don't mind the advertisements to get you to buy a product or service, but I hate the Ad Council ones because they're mostly pushing certain agendas. That's why I'm hoping they'll eventually pull them. You can ask me all day to buy something, but don't tell me how to think or feel. That's why I don't watch the news because it's all about opinion pushing and motivating you to think this way or that way. Just tell me the news with none of that extra stuff.
 

SamCdbs

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Lifetime Supporter
May 7, 2008
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I do not see what Pluto has that is worth $30, let alone millions. It is a service NO ONE HAD HEARD OF THREE YEARS AGO. It is a random mix of out of copyright and otherwise free or nearly free content, people can watch FOR FREE. On Pluto, or a dozen other ways. It has nothing unique. It is fine, but just that. If Viacom asked me to pay 2 cents a year for it, I would delete it and watch the stuff on youtube and the individual channels' websites. Likewise, any reasonalbly tech savvy group of people could duplicate it on another site (which Sinclair more or less just did) in a weekend.
 

primestar31

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Mar 15, 2005
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I do not see what Pluto has that is worth $30, let alone millions. It is a service NO ONE HAD HEARD OF THREE YEARS AGO. It is a random mix of out of copyright and otherwise free or nearly free content, people can watch FOR FREE. On Pluto, or a dozen other ways. It has nothing unique. It is fine, but just that. If Viacom asked me to pay 2 cents a year for it, I would delete it and watch the stuff on youtube and the individual channels' websites. Likewise, any reasonalbly tech savvy group of people could duplicate it on another site (which Sinclair more or less just did) in a weekend.

The uniqueness comes in the integrated channel guide. Many people would never look up all these channels individually, BUT, the guide alone makes all the difference to the "average, I just want to watch tv" person.
 
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harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
There's always something to be said for having a bunch of stuff in one place.

It seems like the quality of content on YouTube varies awfully widely with some of it being recorded off a TV or movie screen.
 

Zookster

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Dec 19, 2004
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I do not see what Pluto has that is worth $30, let alone millions. It is a service NO ONE HAD HEARD OF THREE YEARS AGO. It is a random mix of out of copyright and otherwise free or nearly free content, people can watch FOR FREE. On Pluto, or a dozen other ways. It has nothing unique. It is fine, but just that. If Viacom asked me to pay 2 cents a year for it, I would delete it and watch the stuff on youtube and the individual channels' websites. Likewise, any reasonalbly tech savvy group of people could duplicate it on another site (which Sinclair more or less just did) in a weekend.

Viacom didn't just buy a platform for aggregated free content, they bought the most recognizable name in the market for such content. If a weekend coder created a similar platform and called it Uranus TV, it would be virtually worthless until it gained a foothold in the market. When people cut the cord and go to various social media groups and discussion forums to ask for the best free content they can access on their Roku/FireTV/AppleTV, 9 times out of 10, the first recommendation is Pluto TV.
 
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Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
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I like Pluto.TV a lot of content you won't find anywhere.

Lots of live channels, and lots of specialty channels as well. Like the Wipeout Channel, Unsolved Mysteries Channel, Sky News, Classic Cartoon Channel, Bloomberg TV, Weathernation Impact Wrestling Channel, Fight TV Channel, WPT, AAA Wrestling Channel, MST3K, CNET, Man Up, Forensic Files Channel, Dog the Bounty Hunter Channel, Buzzr, Shout TV, Classic TV, Hells Kitchen Channel, Science TV, DocuTV, Nasa TV and the Dash Music channels.

Sure some are available by themselves from other websites but this is all in one place.

Now if you used PlutoTV when it first started all the channels were made up of Youtube playlists... not anymore... these are all real channels now.

I just wish the 4K Channel was really in 4K. :D
 
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harshness

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May 5, 2007
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When people cut the cord and go to various social media groups and discussion forums to ask for the best free content they can access on their Roku/FireTV/AppleTV, 9 times out of 10, the first recommendation is Pluto TV.
Yet when you ask ten of ten people on the street if they've ever heard of PlutoTV, the answer will probably be no.

Cord cutters are perhaps the most fickle of TV consumers (the no-contract mantra allows them to be uber-agile) so I'm not sure that's a solid basis on which to build. PlutoTV does well because its offerings are fairly well organized and as Scott pointed out, they offer a good selection of content that viewers were looking to piecemeal together before. How that meshes with Viacom and whatever their programming model is remains to be seen. I think it may have more to do with taking control over the competition.
 

Scott Greczkowski

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All that he really said is they have a lot of ads they can run on Pluto TV. Does not really say more than that.

I have no issues with ads, its better then seeing the We'll Be Right Back screen.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
There was a hint of "we're waiting for the contracts to expire" that suggests to me that they have some fairly radical changes in mind in terms of what they will carry going forward.

Viacom pretty much invented the "lets have seven channels so we can have a continuous stream of commercials going somewhere at all times" model that has recently been adopted by many OTA station groups.
 
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