Pluto TV today revealed Project Venetia, a major redesign and upgrade for its free ad-supported streaming service.
The new linear user experience will let viewers choose from categories like movies, news, entertainment, sports and more easily skip through Pluto TV’s more than 250 channels to the category they want. The company also said it’s updated its on-demand UX to let viewers choose from VOD categories like binge-watch and rom coms. The page also now includes a preview mode that shows movie information and trailers before videos are played.
Pluto TV has also added channel favoriting, which keeps certain channels at the top of viewers’ channel guide, and Watch List, which lets viewers save their top picks. The new Watch Now button lets viewers save select titles for on-demand to view later. If the title is available on-demand, the button will pop up in the guide.
The updates are live on Apple, Vizio, and Roku devices with staged releases across other devices including Android and Amazon Fire TV, and more features rolling out over the coming months.
Pluto TV, which is now at 22 million monthly active users and expects to end 2020 with 30 million domestically, is launching its new major branding and marketing campaign.
The company is pushing the free component of Pluto TV through new out-of-home marketing in major U.S. cities, linear ads running during late night broadcast and cable programming and “connected TV takeovers” on Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Samsung.
The updates and marketing push at Pluto TV come at a time when Viacom, which bought Pluto TV last year for $340 million, and CBS are beginning to firm up plans for their newly combined company, ViacomCBS. The company will later this year launch an expanded streaming service that will build on CBS All Access and add 30,000 episodes of TV and up to 1,000 movies.
ViacomCBS said that its domestic streaming and video business – including subscription fees and advertising – brought in approximately $1.6 billion in revenue in 2019. The company anticipates that figure will grow between 35% and 40% in 2020 with “relatively modest, incremental operating expenses.”