Verizon adds Pluto TV as pre-loaded app on mobile and pay TV devices

ViacomCBS said Pluto TV’s monthly active users grew 55% year over year to more than 24 million by the end of the first quarter of 2020. (Pluto TV)

Verizon and free, ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV – which is owned by ViacomCBS – have reached a deal to pre-load the streaming app across Verizon devices.

Beginning this week, Pluto TV will come pre-loaded on Verizon Android mobile devices and the app will continue to roll out to more platforms including Fios cable boxes, Stream TV and 5G Amazon Home Fire devices throughout the summer.

As part of the agreement, Pluto TV is partnering with Verizon to add three new co-branded channels, exclusive to Verizon subscribers. Movies on Verizon will include films like “Arrival,” “Carol,” “Sliding Doors,” “The Illusionist” and “Donnie Darko;” Real Life on Verizon will stream non-fiction content “themed around the Verizon pillars supporting first responders, military and caregivers;” and Yahoo Finance will provide financial news, data and commentary including stock quotes, press releases, financial reports and original content.

RELATED: Pluto TV, Tubi and others may see COVID-related viewing spikes persist in July

Pluto TV called the agreement the largest deal to date in the FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Services) category and said that it will make available more than 100,000 hours of free streaming content across tens of millions of Verizon mobile devices, connected TVs and set-top boxes.

For Verizon, the Pluto TV deal is the latest third-party streaming agreement. The provider partnered with Disney to give many of its subscribers a free year of Disney+ and earlier this year announced “Mix & Match” pricing tiers that prominently feature YouTube TV as an alternative to Fios TV.

For Pluto TV, the deal should significantly expand distribution for the service and could help grow its user base. ViacomCBS said Pluto TV’s monthly active users grew 55% year over year to more than 24 million by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

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