Viacom announced today that its flagship networks including BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon are getting free, ad-supported streaming channels on Pluto TV, which Viacom bought this year for $340 million.
The channels, which will debut May 1, all will draw from Viacom’s intellectual property library, and will come in three different flavors: co-branded flagship channels that are curated versions of Viacom’s networks; signature channels with programming from each brand; and pop-up channels that offer marathon-style airings, starting with MTV’s “The Hills.”
"We are thrilled to expand the Pluto TV offering with the addition of Viacom's world-class channel brands and iconic programming. This is a major step forward in our mission of entertaining the planet,” said Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, in a statement. “Viacom has been entertaining audiences for decades with evergreen content that is bold, daring and inspires worldwide fandom. These channels are guaranteed to provide endless entertainment to both new and existing Pluto TV viewers."
Viacom is also bringing back the Spike TV, which was rebranded at Paramount Network in 2018. Spike is getting a co-branded flagship channel and an outdoors-themed signature channel.
In addition to its Pluto TV Viacom channel launch plans, Viacom also used its NewFronts presentation today to announce new Viacom Digital Studio’s programming that will be distributed across Facebook, Snap, Twitter and YouTube.
“We’re excited to return to the NewFronts after a year of rapid digital acceleration and momentum across the leading social and online video platforms,” said Kelly Day, president of Viacom Digital Studios, in a statement. “Our remarkable growth continues to be driven by an investment in premium original programming and experiences that engage our young, diverse audiences on the platforms they love most, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for our advertising partners to join the conversation.”
Viacom said that since the launch of Viacom Digital Studios, Viacom brands have seen year-over-year domestic increases in social video views and watch time by 83% and 119%, respectively, with a global average of 4 billion views and more than 6 billion minutes watched each month. The company said that with the addition of Pluto TV, Viacom’s digital video impressions will grow to 5 billion impressions per month by next year.