Viacom Completes $340M Acquisition of Free Streamer Pluto TV
Viacom announced yesterday it has completed its $340 million all-cash acquisition of Pluto TV, an ad-supported free streaming service that offers over 100 channels and thousands of hours of on-demand movies and shows.
AVOD services have proven to be a hot area these days, as over-subscribed consumers grow leery of adding one more service to their monthly bills. AVOD services let them explore new content for less, and frequently have smaller commercial ad loads than broadcast.
For Viacom, the deal makes sense because it lets the company broaden its reach to include viewers who skip broadcast and cable. It also brings in plenty of younger consumers, all of which helps Viacom satisfy ad clients.
“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,” says Bob Bakish, Viacom's president and CEO. “Together with Pluto TV, we look forward to becoming a stronger partner to distributors, advertisers, content providers, and audiences around the world.”
Viacom first announced the deal on January 22, 2019. Pluto TV now streams to over 12 million monthly active users on a range of screens, including connected TV devices, mobile devices, computers, and gaming consoles. The deal will provide Pluto TV with more premium content to help its continued growth. Pluto TV will be run as an independent subsidiary of Viacom.
In one deal, Viacom is buying a major entry into the ad-supported streaming market. But could its corporate culture slow growth at Pluto TV?