Ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV, which was recently acquired by Viacom, said that it now has more than 15 million monthly active users on its platform.
Pluto TV’s user base has increased by more than 3 million since the beginning of the year. Viacom said that Pluto TV ended 2018 with more 12 million monthly active users, 7.5 million of which were on connected TVs.
Attracting more users to its platform will be key for Pluto TV as the company looks to claim share in an OTT advertising market that is poised to grow significantly.
Recent figures from Magna Global show that OTT accounts for 29% of TV viewing, but it’s only managed to snag 3% of TV ad budgets. Still, OTT advertising totaled $2.7 billion in revenue in 2018, up 54% year over year.
Pluto TV is still trailing some big competitors in the ad-based video on demand (AVOD) streaming space. In January during CES, Amazon said its Fire TV platform had more than 30 million active users. In the same month, Roku announced that it had more than 27 million active accounts.
During its February first-quarter earnings call, Viacom said that Pluto TV is a $1 billion advertising revenue opportunity for the company.
“Pluto TV audience is young, gender-balanced and hard to reach – in fact, 50% of Pluto TV viewers are between the ages of 18 & 34. Importantly, Pluto TV – with its nascent ad sales force – currently sells less than 50% of this inventory, so there’s plenty of upside here,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish during the earnings call.
Pluto TV’s new active user count arrived along with news that the service has set a new distribution deal with BBC Studios that will bring shows, including “Being Erica” along with pop-up channels dedicated to classic “Doctor Who” and “Antiques Roadshow” episodes, to the platform beginning next month. In all, the deal covers nearly 1,000 episodes of BBC Studios series, totaling more than 700 hours of new programming for Pluto TV.
“This new Pluto TV enterprise is appealing for us as we continue to attract new audiences through the creation of branded pop-up channels like Classic Doctor Who and Antiques Roadshow and expand on opportunities for existing fans to find their favorite shows to stream, in a unique way,” said Beth Clearfield, senior vice president of digital strategy and franchise business management at BBC Studios – Americas, in a statement.