How Does Pluto TV Make Money?
In the past several years, more and more people have cut the cord and switched from cable TV to various streaming services. These are much more flexible and easier to manage than regular TV. What cable TV and streaming services have in common is the inevitable monthly subscription fee, although streaming is considerably less expensive unless you use three or more services simultaneously.
Pluto TV is a somewhat new form of television. It was founded five years ago and its number of viewers is constantly growing. The reason for this is simple – anyone can use it completely free of charge.
You heard it right, there is no subscription fee at all. So, what is the catch? Well, the creators of Pluto TV have found other ways to make money while keeping their service free.
How Does Pluto TV Manage to Stay Free?
The competition for viewership among various cable networks and streaming services is at an all-time high. Basic cable networks use ads to generate revenue, while premium cable networks and streaming services make money from subscription fees, although some, like Hulu, also include ads in their lower-priced plans.
Pluto only uses ads as a means of making money.
You would think the commercials would pop up all the time, but it is not the case. There is no specified rule as to when ads will appear, but if you are switching channels a lot or watching one for an extended period of time, you can expect to see some ads.
There are commercial breaks when you watch Pluto TV channels, but they are not too long. Usually, you need to watch about two or three minutes of ads before you can go back to your content. Each ad is short, they last up to 30 seconds, and they get quite repetitive after a while.
But look on it on the bright side, where else can you find a TV service that is entirely free?
Where Can You Watch Pluto TV?
Another advantage Pluto TV brings to the table is the variety of devices it can be watched on. Firstly, you can watch on their website, using any web browser you like. You can watch on your smartphone, whether it is an iOS or Android device. Just download the app from their respective store (the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS devices).
There are separate international and U.S. versions of the app because Pluto TV buys streaming rights for its content for each individual territory. In certain territories, some of those rights may have already been bought by another local service or broadcaster before Pluto entered the market. As such, what’s available in the U.S. might not be available in, say, Germany and vice-versa.
Then you have the desktop apps for Mac and Windows computers available exclusively to the U.S. If you want to stick to your TV, a plethora of devices support Pluto TV: PlayStation 4, some Smart TVs, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV devices.
What Channels Can You Watch on Pluto TV?
Pluto TV has a variety of channels which are divided into categories such as Comedy, Movies Sports, and News. Pluto offers plenty of channels which are already available elsewhere on the internet, for example on YouTube.
You can find a lot of niche programming which you have never heard of before, but also a lot of reruns and hit shows from the past, like the live-action Dennis the Menace, which originally aired for four seasons from 1959 to 1963. There is even an Anime All Day channel for all anime fans, which shows subtitled episodes of some of the most popular contemporary shows like One-Punch Man.
You can tell the service aims to offer something for everyone when there is even a Cats 24/7 channel which only shows these quirky felines.
Are There On-Demand Movies?
On-demand TV shows on Pluto TV are very scarce and mostly limited to the Discovery Channel documentaries. On the other hand, the selection of on-demand movies on Pluto TV is much more varied. For example, you could catch Donnie Darko, The Machinist, and Memento, all of which are amazing movies.
Of course, Pluto does not come anywhere near Netflix or any other comparable premium service. For all the newest shows and movies, your best bets are Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, all of which also offer some amazing, award-winning originals, but these three services combined could cost you upwards of $30 a month.
The Future of Pluto TV
Pluto TV has received some major investments in the past, which lead to its current success, but the biggest recent news from Pluto is that Viacom, the company behind Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon, purchased the service for 340 million dollars in cash. The deal was finalized in March 2019.
They say that Pluto will stay free and continue to be ad-supported. Surely more advertisers are going to be attracted because of Viacom’s marketing efforts. Pluto will have a lot more content coming from the Viacom Digital Studious subsidiary and viewers will have plenty more choice, so it is a win-win situation.
Pluto TV has many advantages over regular streaming services. Their content is not as appealing as Hulu or Netflix, but at least it doesn’t cost a cent. And with the recent Viacom purchase, the service is expected to further grow and improve its offerings while remaining completely free and ad-supported.
Are you already using Pluto TV? If not, has reading this article motivated you to download the app and give this service a try? Let us know in the comments below.