ViacomCBS expects to close out 2020 with more than 30 million Pluto TV users. Pluto TV is a streaming service that lets users watch live TV for free. The free sector of the market has been growing rapidly over the last year.
ViacomCBS is a new company formed when Viacom and CBS merged late in 2019. Prior to the merger, Viacom had already purchased Pluto TV, a service that offers free access to live TV. Since acquiring the service, Pluto TV has continued to see growth by attracting more users each quarter.
Following the release of the company’s Q4 earnings announcement, ViacomCBS took part in an earnings call to provide more details on its results and its strategy going forward. One of those aspects discussed was Pluto TV with ViacomCBS confirming the service had already amassed 22 million monthly active users. A figure that represents a year-over-year increase of 75 percent. In addition, ViacomCBS also stated that it expects Pluto TV to close out 2020 with no less than 30 million monthly active users.
The continued rise of free content
It sounds strange to say that consumers like free content, but that seems to be a lesson that many companies are only now learning. After many looking to establish their presence in the SVOD market, they are now opting to go down the AVOD route with access to free, ad-supported tiers. Two of the most recent examples of this is NBC who plans to launch a free tier of its upcoming Peacock streaming service, and Redbox who very recently (and quietly) launched a free live streaming service.
However, there are some companies and services that have understood the importance of AVOD since the early days of video streaming and they are the ones now cementing their position, including Pluto TV. Another prime example is Tubi who also recently confirmed it now has more than 25 million monthly active users.
With such a demand for free content, and companies finally understanding free works for both sides of the equation, it should be expected that even more companies will adopt similar strategies in the near and long-term futures.
As part of the same earnings release, ViacomCBS also confirmed it was preparing to launch a new “House of Brands” streaming service which combines content from CBS All Access with episodes and movies from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, Smithsonian, and Paramount.